The Lankans are currently sixth in the ICC team ranking with 97 rating points while Bangladesh are seventh with 94. A 3-0 series win will take Bangladesh ahead of the Lankans. Mashrafe however, informed that they are taking one match at a time as opposed to thinking of a whitewash.
“I don’t want to talk about a 3-0 result, which brings pressure onto the players. It is better if we don’t think about it. Let’s do it match by match. We have to be mindful that the opposition will be giving their best too. We should focus on playing our best cricket,” Mashrafe told the media in the pre-match press conference on Monday.
Mashrafe admitted that their batsmen are in prime form right now. He said the batters should take a leaf out of opening batsman Tamim Iqbal's book and convert their starts into big knocks.
“We wanted our batsmen to cross the fifty-seventy mark and get a big score. It is a good lesson for us. The batsmen should learn how to convert fifties and sixties into a hundred, which is what big teams do. We have to learn this continuously, and ensure that we keep doing this. Unfortunately, Sabbir [Rahman] missed out in the last game. But Tamim got a big hundred. It makes winning easier when someone does that,” he said.
Following a couple of years filled with success at home, the Tigers faced challenging conditions in New Zealand and India.
They also encountered some tough times in the first Sri Lanka Test match but bounced back strongly, registering a historic win in their 100th Test, at P Sara Oval in Colombo. The Tigers maintained their good form, wrapping up the first ODI by 90 runs against the Lankans.
Mashrafe said they should look to prolong their winning streak as an away series win will stand them in good stead for the future.
“After the England ODI series, I said a different challenge will start in New Zealand. We couldn’t win there, despite creating opportunities. We won the second Test and the first ODI in Sri Lanka. We will improve slowly. Other teams also took time to win abroad. New Zealand was difficult for us but that experience will work for us here. If we can win the series here, it will have a good impact,” he said.