Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Dhaka February 16, 2014

We can beat any team at home - Mushfiqur


Bangladesh have not lost a bilateral ODI series at home since 2011, and captain Mushfiqur Rahim believes that the trend can continue in the three-match series against Sri Lanka.

The last time they lost at home in their favoured format was to Pakistan more than two years ago, with victories coming against West Indies in late 2012 and New Zealand last year, as well as pushing Pakistan in the Asia Cup final in 2012.

After a good result against New Zealand in October and November last year, Bangladesh were derailed by a crushing defeat in the first Test against Sri Lanka last month. They bounced back by drawing the second Test match, and then again they lost the two Twenty20s in Chittagong, both off the last ball of the game.

The drawn Test match saw a batting resurrection, mainly through Mominul Haque's perseverance. There was a mix of both batting and bowling improvement in the Twenty20s, and will give them confidence for the rest of the series.

"We were not consistent in Tests and T20s but in our home conditions, our line-up is capable of beating any team on our day," Mushfiqur said. "We have played good cricket in the last 18 months so we are confident. But Sri Lanka is a tough side and it will be a hard competition. We are ready for it.

"So far we did lose three matches this year, but were also unlucky not to win two of those. We have plenty of hard cricket ahead in this year. Results-wise, it was disappointing, but we have gradually improved from the first Test. It's just a matter of time."

Bangladesh will however miss the experience of left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak, who is their leading wicket-taker against Sri Lanka with 19.

"We will miss [Abdur Razzak] Raj bhai a lot. Although [Arafat] Sunny bhai has bowled very well in the last two matches, Raj bhai is our most experienced bowler and has the most ODI wickets. I was with him during the last week as he was recovering from the hamstring injury. We want him to be fully fit for the tournaments ahead.

"We have four genuine pacers in the side and have a long time to put together a playing XI. Dew factor might come into play and there was overnight rain on Sunday. We might play three pacers or three spinners, it will depend on the dew factor. We are flexible, we have left-arm spinners, pacers and offspinners. We will wait till tomorrow."

The other hindrance for Bangladesh tomorrow will be that Mushfiqur will not keep wickets. The finger injury he picked up during the second Test forced him to miss the two Twenty20s, and he said Anamul Haque or Shamsur Rahman will be wicketkeeper, at least for the first ODI.

"I don't have much pain when I bat. But because it's in the last finger, keeping will be risky. If I get hit there again, I will be out for a long time. The team management thinks I can do with the bat. We have enough keepers in the side like [Shamsur Rahman] Shuvo and [Anamul Haque] Bijoy. One of them will keep tomorrow."

Despite missing Razzak and Muhfiqur' keeping skills, Bangladesh will enter the series with plenty of confidence, given their solid recent record in home ODIs.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Android on February 17, 2014, 11:50 GMT

    im pakistani i believe worldclass team they can never beat sl

  • Android on February 17, 2014, 11:47 GMT

    why they dont give u 100 games,think about it ,u have made no name in cricket since last 16 years ban team appaered in international cricket first u make ur status then wish for more games

  • Dummy4 on February 17, 2014, 9:18 GMT

    srilanka will win today definitely

  • Dummy4 on February 17, 2014, 8:48 GMT

    Andrew-Schulz, let us play more games first, before making such comments...If you guys play 100 games a year, we can only play 20 games, where majority of games are with Zimbabwe, Kenya, etc...this doesn't help us at all

  • w on February 17, 2014, 7:09 GMT

    Please drop Tamim Iqbal from the team and make someone better play. I'm not sure why he is still in the team, he scores only 2-3 runs in every match.

  • ESPN on February 17, 2014, 7:04 GMT

    clearly ahead tiger

  • Dummy4 on February 17, 2014, 5:59 GMT

    @ tigerroars - look at Sri Lanka's recent record abroad. I think it is among the best in the world. SOmehow this goes unnoticed.

  • Ziggy on February 17, 2014, 4:55 GMT

    It seems most people simply read the title of the article and decided to express their views in the comments. He never really said what the title says in those words. The title is just another case of an over exaggerated headline used to grab the attention of on-lookers. If you took the time read the article, you would see justified statements on the teams chances and previous records at home, and you wouldn't jump onto your horses and make some insensitive remark about the BD team or the captain.

  • andrews on February 17, 2014, 2:48 GMT

    Tigerroars, there is just a slight bit of difference between Australia's record away and that of Bangladesh. Tanstell don't use the word unbeatable in relation to Bangladesh. You are bottom of the pile and will stay there a very long time.

  • Ram on February 17, 2014, 1:36 GMT

    This is laughable. Any first tier team that is a bit depleted should go to BD or ZM so that they get a booster. For instance, India I snow getting a ponding in NZ. So immediately after the tour if they could organize a tour of BD, it will give them a lot of confidence before playing another A tier team. I am with Shewag here.

  • No featured comments at the moment.