Mashrafe told the media at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Monday, “Expectations are far more in ODIs against Sri Lanka than Tests, obviously. I think fans are also expecting more in ODIs. It is important for every player to convert their mentality from playing red-ball cricket to white-ball cricket. We have good expectations regarding the series. But we have to play very well. Sri Lanka have some tricky bowlers like Lakshan Sandakan. And we will play white-ball cricket after five Tests.
“Now we have to find scoring options. So, it can be difficult to score big runs against them. But if we can start well and play as a mentally relaxed team, then everything will be fine,” he said.
Mashrafe backed middle-order batsman Mahmudullah, who was dropped just before the second and final Test. He said the whole team are behind him and also believes Mahmudullah will come back strongly in the upcoming ODIs.
“I think being relaxed is the most important thing. We have to ensure that Mahmudullah feels pretty relaxed in the team and never feels himself like a burden. Every player goes through bad patches in their career. The form he just had six months ago, if Riyad can show that again in the series, then it will have a huge impact on the team. I believe he will bounce back strongly and we, the whole team, are helping him to return to good form,” said Mashrafe.
Mashrafe thinks their historical Test win against the Lankans will motivate the team to perform better in the ODIs and T20Is.
“The Test match win will definitely have an impact on the ODI series. Maximum players of the Test squad will play the ODIs, so they will be mentally motivated ahead of the ODI series. It was a great joy to watch Bangladesh's win in their 100th Test. Players, who have come here to play ODIs, are lucky that we have witnessed the environment in the dressing room. I can say that we are lucky,” he said.
Mashrafe fractured his thumb during the last T20I of the New Zealand tour and was ruled out for several weeks. After rehabilitation, he returned to action last week and took part in a practice match. The paceman said his finger is okay now and that it would have been better if he had played a few more warm-up games.
“I am trying to play with my best possible fitness. I have played one practice match in Bangladesh. Probably it could have been better if I played one or two more. But there is no problem with my finger at the moment,” he said.