Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza oozing with confidence about his team’s chance to seal the semifinal spot in the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup, said that there is nothing impossible if the Tigers play to their true potential.
According to the inspirational captain, who is going to play his last World Cup, the current format which is believed to make Bangladesh’s task tougher, would give them a chance to make their dream true.
“It is definitely possible (to seal semifinal spot) but it is really tough,” Mashrafe said here today as he was addressing the media in his last official press conference before the Tigers depart for Ireland on May 1 for a triangular series that will lead into the World Cup starting on May 30.
“According to the earlier format of the World Cup, the comeback was tougher in case of a defeat because there were limited matches. But here in current system will give you the chance to play nine matches. Those who are expecting to play semifinal will get lot of opportunities to comeback. So we have to keep it in our mind.”
With a different format for this year’s World Cup – 10 teams playing each other once before the semifinals – ups and downs there will be many and Mashrafe insisted on to be mentally tough.
“Since we have to play nine matches, it is important to be mentally tough, ready to face various adversities in every match. There will be ups and downs aplenty and we have to make sure that we’ll turn the things around,” he added.
“We have a tri-nation series in Ireland from which we have to practice how to handle the tough situation so that during the World Cup we can execute it.”
What gives Mashrafe a confidence is that the team is balanced and experienced. However he emphasized on to remain united, which he thinks will be crucial in achieving the best result.
“There are some experienced cricketers in our squad, therefore the team should be termed as balanced. Even the junior players like Soumya, Sabbir has played World Cup earlier. It’s not that experience itself will guarantee you the expected result. We must remain united whatever happens around us,” the pace spearhead remarked.
Mashrafe also seemed to have fueled his side by saying that they are not in the list of World Cup favourites according to the pundits of the cricket fraternity.
He urged his side to force the critics change their mindset regarding Bangladesh by doing something extraordinary in the World Cup.
“Even sometimes best teams can’t win the World Cup. Sometimes the best team even can’t even move into semifinal stage. There is no pressure on us to win the World Cup or we have to set a task to move into the semifinal.
“If you ask about the cricket analyst they will never term us favourites. So if we can do well, they will be forced to change their mindset,” said the Member of Parliament from Narail.
“This is the great us for us. So we definitely want to do well.”
Having said that, Mashrafe revealed that they are desperate to play good cricket in World Cup and he has no qualms about the ability of the 15-member squad that was selected for the cricket’s biggest extravaganza.
“We know we have to work hard to reach our goal but we are desperate to show our mettle to the rest of the World,” he said.
“We know the wicket of England will produce huge runs whereas we are not used to score over 300 regularly. ICC normally produces batting wicket in the global event. During the 2015 World Cup the wicket of Australia-New Zealand produced huge runs.
Despite that we still moved to the quarterfinal on the back of some good pace bowling effort. There was no question of the ability of our players. It’s the best available team right at the moment. Now what we have to make sure that, we will show our ability to handle the pressure,” he concluded.