Bangladesh ODI captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza has ruled out his team being under any sort of pressure as they face Sri Lanka Friday, a side guided by the Tigers’ former head coach Chandika Hathurusingha.
A lot has been said and discussed since Hathurusingha, who went on to take up the job of Sri Lanka, left the Bangladesh post in October last year and the schedule of him travelling to Dhaka for the tri-nation ODI series, followed by a Test match and T20I series between the Tigers and the Lankans, was revealed.
Many opined if Hathurusingha will have the edge over Bangladesh cricketers, considering the fact that he has worked closely with the team. However, Mashrafe swatted away any such thought. Mashrafe’s statement is based on the fact of the globalisation of the game. Cricket at the moment hardly has any secrets due to advancement in technology and development of franchise leagues in the leading cricket-playing countries.
“Honestly it (Hathurusingha as head coach of Sri Lanka) does not matter to us. We have only one thing in the back of our mind – which is to play and win the match. Thinking about such things is putting ourselves under pressure. I think everyone in the dressing room is concentrating on their game and improving the game. We would like to play the way we did in our first match (against Zimbabwe),” said Mashrafe in the pre-match conference Thursday.
Bangladesh made a confident start to the tri-series defeating Zimbabwe by eight wickets in a low-scoring game in the series opener Monday. Mashrafe informed that the win has boosted Bangladesh’s confidence level. He however, guarded against complacency after the island nation lost their first match against Zimbabwe by 12 runs Wednesday.
“We were in a position to chase 300 runs in our first game. Of course such wins boost the team. There can be bad days for the batsmen in the field. But the four batsmen who batted in the last game have no reasons to not feel confident. The bowlers did their part well. We have to play Sri Lanka the way Zimbabwe did. Zimbabwe played very well to win that game. It is not possible to win without playing cricket the way they did on the day. Sri Lanka can play very good cricket against us if it’s their day. So we have to be mentally prepared so that we can face and control such situation,” explained the veteran Bangladesh pacer.
“Ahead of the tournament I said we need to win four matches to play the final because a single game can change your fate in the series. Your opponent can play better cricket than you any day, especially with these two opponents, as they have many players who played in Bangladesh regularly. We will have to make sure of taking the most advantage of the home condition,” Mashrafe added.