From being a surprise package to transforming into a consistent unit, Bangladesh have been on the rise in the last few years or so in international cricket.
Following that path, the Tigers reached the semi-finals of the 2017 Champions Trophy and according to India captain Virat Kohli, Bangladesh have made huge strides. Kohli said they are treating the Tigers as a dangerous opponent ahead of their blockbuster semi-final clash on Thursday at Edgbaston.
“It's no surprise anymore to anyone that they are doing really well, and they've really improved their cricket. It's a credit to their set-up and they have players now who are taking more responsibility. They are a very dangerous side on their day, and everyone realises that. You know, no one takes any opposition for granted, and Bangladesh have taken huge strides,” Kohli told the media in the pre-match conference on Wednesday.
“They themselves say in the last couple years…in the World Cup 2015, they were really, really good. Yeah, you can never take any opposition for granted. I would say credit goes to them for doing what they are doing with their cricket over the last couple of years.
“As I said, I mean, they are in the top eight sides in the world, so obviously they are playing really good cricket and they are doing a lot of things right to be in that position. And as I said, they have cricketers who are skilled and committed to play for Bangladesh. They play with a lot of passion, and they're really keen to win a lot of games at this level, and that shows in their attitude.
“And even the other day I thought they were outstanding the way they applied themselves and chased the total down (against New Zealand). They showed a lot of composure and patience, and that is always a sign of a side that is mature now and knows how to win matches from difficult situations. So yeah, they are a very competitive side,” he said.
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Kohli attempts a catch during training DHAKA TRIBUNE
The Tigers met India twice in ICC events in the recent past. Their quarter-final clash in the 2015 World Cup especially attracted a lot of controversies after some poor umpiring.
Kohli however, said they are not thinking about such things.
“It's been 24 months. I seriously don't think that anyone is thinking about that game. We've had so many matches against each other since then, and we are certainly not going out to prove a point to anyone. We just want to play good cricket as a side. Our opposition could be anyone. We're not really thinking about what's happened in the past or things that go on at the international level. We're certainly not thinking about any of that,” he said.
Kohli is of the opinion that his side will have the edge over the opposition in terms of experience as they will be playing their sixth semi-final in their last seven ICC tournaments.
Since the World Cup two years ago though, Bangladesh have a better record against the top eight sides compared to India.
“Yeah, we've been in these kind of games before quite a few times, but there are no guarantees in this sport. As we've seen in the league stages, as well, a lot of teams have surprised the opposition, and we're certainly not taking anything for granted. We will use whatever momentum we've gained in this tournament to execute what we want to. We're not going to go according to past results and what we've done in the past tournaments. Going into a big game like this, we're going to treat it how we treated the last game, and our mindset does not differ,” he added.