Visiting Bangladesh side have come into the Nidahas T20I tri-nation series with the mission of recovering their hard-earned glory. The Tigers without a fulltime coach saw the tri-series involving India and host Sri Lanka as the opportunity to turn the tables around. With a lot of hope and heart, Bangladesh will kick off their Nidahas series campaign taking on India in Colombo's R Premadasa Cricket Stadium Thursday.
However, the job will be easier said than done, given the statistics in the shortest format of the game doesn’t back the Tigers. In the last 10 T20Is, Bangladesh could win only one - against Sri Lanka during their tour of the island nation in April last year. The side won the second game of the two-match T20I series to level the series 1-1.
As far as team performances are concerned, Bangladesh till date have faced India five times since 2009 and have never been victorious. The only time the Tigers went close to a win in T20Is against former world champion India was in their last encounter during the 2016 World T20I. Bangladesh had lost that game though by only one run in the last over in what eventually turned out to be a nail-biter.
Against Sri Lanka, the Tigers locked horn nine times since 2007 and have won only twice. The last time Bangladesh took on the Nidahas series host was last month at home and were whitewashed in the two-match series.
Bangladesh stand-in T20I captain Mahmudullah is well aware of the record in numbers but informed that they are in no mood to let the opposition dominate them.
"We have won only one out of 10 games. There will be pressure to perform well. Each game is a new challenge for us. We have to come up with something in particular in our execution. But we feel that we have the capability to do well," said Mahmudullah to the media in Colombo Wednesday.
Bangladesh in their first game will take on India, a side that have six of their prominent members missing. Regular captain Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya and a few other leading names have been rested following their 50-day gruelling tour of South Africa recently. Rohit Sharma, one of the few senior men in the youth-based India side, was handed the charge to lead the team.
The start for India in the series was not pleasant as they lost their first game against host Sri Lanka by five wickets Tuesday and it is being said Bangladesh have the perfect opportunity to make a winning start to the series.
"I am hopeful in every game. India are a strong side despite some of their experienced players not coming to this tour. We are focused on ourselves, which will probably help us more," said Mahmudullah.
"We have to figure out India's strengths and weaknesses. We know a bit about the Sri Lankan players, about their plan A and B, since we have just played against them recently. I have told the team that we should do well the things we are good at. We can't go into this tournament with any doubt with our ability. We have to forget about our last T20I series," the all-rounder added.