The general populace might have plenty of questions regarding Bangladesh’s batting prior to their crucial Group B match against formidable South Africa today but Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan was as satisfied as he could be with his team’s performance in the ICC Cricket World Cup and was upbeat ahead of the tough battle at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur today.
The youngest captain in the tournament was in a carefree mood while talking with the reporters at the pre-match press conference following training at Mirpur yesterday.
“We have been playing good cricket throughout the tournament though many have raised question about our batting. At least three times we scored more than our opponents and that’s why we won these matches,” said Shakib when asked about his side’s poor batting display in the tournament.
“I believe we have a good chance to win tomorrow’s match if we can stick to our plan. Everybody is confident after back-to-back wins against England and Netherlands. It’s possible to qualify into the quarterfinals if we can play our best cricket,” added Shakib, who is also satisfied with his own performance in the tournament.
The Bangladesh skipper also said that the team spirit was hardly dented by the West Indies defeat against England, which threw Bangladesh into a must win situation against favourite South Africa, against whom they had won the second round game in 2007 World Cup in Guyana.
“Yes, it could have been an easy for us if West Indies won their match against England and now the task is a little bit difficult for us. But everything is now in our hands. We can win the match to qualify into the quarterfinals. After the dismissal of Chris Gayle I watched a Hindi movie,” said a confident Shakib.
“Without any doubt South Africa is a better team than us but we are confident because it would not be an easy task for any team in the world to beat us at our own conditions. Except the first game it was not so easy to bat on this wicket and you know our spinners have been doing well and we are hopeful they will play a vital role also in the match,” opined Shakib.
Bangladesh skipper also rubbished the notion that Tamim Iqbal and he must take the responsibility if his side wanted to win the big match.
“I don’t think so, rather I believe that everybody should contribute if we want to win the match,” said Shakib.
He however praised the South African bowling attack highly. “We must be careful against both spin and pace bowlers. South Africa has a very good bowling attack and as well their batting line-up is also strong. So we must put a good total on the board if we bat first and on the other hand we must bowl well if we bat second,” observed Shakib.
The Bangladesh captain did not reveal their team combination but it was learnt that off-spinning all-rounder Naeem Islam will return to the team in place of left-arm spinner Sohrawardi Shuvo, who played the last game against Netherlands in Chittagong.
BANGLADESH-SOUTH AFRICA ENCOUNTERS
Andre Nel took the only five-wicket haul.
Herschelle Gibbs has played the most matches (11).
Bangladesh won: 1
South Africa won: 12
Courtesy of The Daily Star