Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Big, not the biggest match for Tigers!

In the pre-match press conference on Saturday, Bangladesh captain Mashrafee bin Murtaza was asked if their Asia Cup final against India is the biggest ever match they are going to be involved.
Mashrafee put their World Cup quarter-final against the same opponents in Melbourne ahead of it. But the 32-year old veteran had no hesitation to admit that this is not an ordinary game for them, rather an emotional affair, and a game that they rarely get a chance to play. Mashrafee spoke at length about different issues in his pre-match conference. Here are the excerpts.
Different match
This is another match, obviously it’s the final and the flavour is different. We take it as a different match and play our best cricket. The way we have been playing in the last three matches hopefully we will keep it going.
Not the biggest in career
Biggest match was in 2015 World Cup quarter-final. Still I believe and obviously it is one of the biggest matches tomorrow [today]. But if you compare that was bigger because that was 50-over cricket and at the same time World Cup quarter-final so that was a bit more important.
No pressure
As a professional player we need to think about the match from now on and that’s what we are doing, whatever the players are doing they are staying normal. I said something at the start of the tournament that we aren’t here as the champion team, we just wanted to improve ourselves in the Cup, the graph is good because we won a few matches, but that doesn’t mean that we have become a big team. We have improved a bit and we will continue to focus on improving.
No question about Indian batting
There is no question that their batting order has six world class batsmen, for all formats. So there is no doubt that if you want to get them out in a particular area, there is no area, you need to bowl well throughout, they will charge, but you have to minimise that.
Crowd an inspiration
Our biggest strength has always been our crowd. If they were not there we wouldn’t have been inspired so much. They have sacrificed a lot I think, this is a big opportunity for us, if we can do something big, then it will be really good.
Emotion not unexpected
It’s obviously an emotional occasion because we don’t always get such chances and this is happening at home, so this is very normal. It’s easy for them to take it as a just another match because they have been playing these big-hype matches regularly. It’s easy for them but not for us. We are trying to be as normal as possible.
Will do better than 2012
If such situation comes hopefully it will be better, but it’s not that we will be champion today because we lost the last time. If that situation comes then maybe we can do better. But again, T20 cricket is something I believe depends completely on given day.
Need success as a team
Our strength is our young players. They are using their potential, which is very important. In the final, clearly India are the faovurites, everybody knows that. What we can do is play as a team, maybe we don’t have one or two players who can change the match single-handedly, we won the last two matches because of our team effort. Our team unity is good and that’s what we want to continue.
Good thing for young players
This is good that all these young players are getting used to these things right from the start of their careers. They will get an idea how professional players’ lives are. It wouldn’t have happened if we had not reached the final. It’s a bit difficult but I think players are enjoying this.
First match result immaterial
The first match, even if we had won by 200 runs that wouldn’t help us. What we did yesterday doesn’t matter. Yes, the confidence is good as a team; you can’t win by just one player. We are plying as a team and we are focusing on that.
Others covering Mustafiz’s absence
We are playing without our best bowler to be honest. But Taskin [Ahmed], Al-Amin bowled well in the last game. This is a good sign for a team that’s growing. When your best payer isn’t there still you’re performing. This is a good sign.
Not a romance
There is no romance [playing against top-ranked side], this is a reality. We will try to give our 100 per cent. We will try to do everything we can. Obviously if we are a bit lucky, the match will come to our way.
Feeling for the fans
I saw in the morning that there are many people standing in the queue for tickets. And they are working hard for tickets. It’s a trouble for them. Whenever we play good this is happening a bit more often.
Win or lose doesn’t matter
If we don’t win nothing will happen. It’s not that our cricket will stop here. We have a great future ahead and that’s a sign that we are doing well. It’s another match, but if we win the match we will feel amazing, but if we don’t win that doesn’t mean that our cricket will stop.

-With New Age input

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