ICC World Twenty 2012

Bangladesh 'never better prepared' - Ashraful

Mohammad Isam

September 12, 2012

Comments: 51 | Text size: A | A

Mohammad Ashraful's 83 powered the Bangladesh national side to 311, Bangladesh v Bangladesh A, 3rd match, Bangladesh Cricket Board Cup, September 15, 2011
Mohammad Ashraful has been in good form after converting to the role of opener © BCB
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Mohammad Ashraful has pointed to Bangladesh's intensive preparation across three continents as their biggest asset as they head into the ICC World Twenty20. They have played a quarter of all their Twenty20 internationals this year, as well as two competitions where they played unofficial matches, all targeted towards a proper build-up to the event, a factor that went missing ahead of two of the three previous tournaments.

Ashraful has steadied himself as an opener during the past four months, having played 11 out of the 13 games and averaging a shade above thirty. He was also a late call-up for the Ruhuna Royals in the Sri Lanka Premier League, a tournament which also featured Bangladesh team-mates Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah and Nasir Hossain (though he didn't play a match).

"We have played a lot of Twenty20 matches during the past couple of months. If you include the practice games then we will have around 17-18 matches going into the first encounter of the World Twenty20," Ashraful said after Bangladesh's arrival in Colombo.

"This is probably the best preparation we have had before a World T20 event. Also, some of us have participated in the Sri Lankan Premier League last month and that experience could be crucial. I believe everyone has a better understanding of the requirements of the shortest version of cricket now."

When Richard Pybus moved him to open the batting alongside Tamim back in June, it was viewed with initial apprehension. While the numbers suggest only a run-of-the-mill improvement, it has had a positive effect on his mindset, which should be further aided by his experience of playing every Bangladesh tour to Sri Lanka.

"I have made good starts in recent times as an opener," he said. "I feel I am hitting the ball well. I have some excellent memories of Sri Lanka and I have been on every tour of this country since my international debut. I am really looking forward to the tournament."

After competing in Zimbabwe in a triangular series that also featured a South Africa XI, Bangladesh won four out of six T20Is in Europe during July. The last leg of their preparatory tour was to Trinidad & Tobago, where they played T20s against Barbados, Afghanistan and the hosts in a four-nation tournament. They finished second behind Afghanistan on net run-rate but Ashraful wasn't prepared to disregard the campaign due to the loss in the last game.

"I think we did fairly well," he said. "We won easily against Barbados and Afghanistan by chasing in rain-reduced games. We should have beaten Trinidad & Tobago in the last match after having them reeling on 12 for five but they got home in the final over."

He was also happy to see Ziaur Rahman make the most of his opportunities after being given a long-awaited break by the national selectors. Essentially a one-day specialist, Ziaur hasn't made an eye-catching amount of runs but his ability to hit sixes (he has 11 in the last 13 games) is more than handy for Bangladesh.

"We have found some ideal cricketers for Twenty20 to compliment the likes of Shakib [Al Hasan], Tamim, Mushfiqur Rahim and Abdur Razzak," Ashraful said. "Ziaur Rahman is a handy batsman to have as he is a natural big hitter. Mahmudullah is becoming a very useful allrounder in these conditions and Elias Sunny has proved his worth in this version. The return of Mashrafe [Mortaza] is a big plus and he has got into a nice rhythm. His lower order batting can also change matches."

Bangladesh play both their World Twenty20 group-stage matches in Pallekele, starting with New Zealand on September 21 and then against Pakistan four days later.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Bangladesh

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Fan_of_bengal on (September 14, 2012, 16:24 GMT)

Go bangladesh go... Best wishes are with you....

Posted by bored_iam on (September 13, 2012, 20:03 GMT)

Another tournament. Another round of false expectation. The ONLY chance the so-called 'tigers' have is if Shakib plays to potential and Tamim Bats in the manner that made him famous previously. Pak always a threat in such a tournament. They the dark horses for me. WI, SL, SA-the strong favs.

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 18:37 GMT)

U deserved a big hitting t20 team bt didnt pick zia in your team!!?????? How funny??!!! LIttle education is always dangerous @mahfuj1983

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 14:13 GMT)

@CricketFan365...Interesting! but I still disagree because number 1 the problem with tail-enders is that with limited wickets in hand the chances of them remaining not out is high therefore their batting average can be a bit higher unusually whereas if they were to face a hard fresh new ball at the beginning, they'd be sent back straight to the dressing room if you see what I mean.

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 12:11 GMT)

Best of luck Tigers......

Posted by CricketFan365 on (September 13, 2012, 11:22 GMT)

@Chris Ward: lol.. very funny.. I hope Ashraful sees your comment. It's a shame for him that many tail-enders have more batting average than that of his. If there were an award for the most inconsistent player of the year, Ashraful would win in every year.

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 11:07 GMT)

Bangladesh will find it difficult to get past two strong teams, and they have not performed too consistently even against the associates. They have not played any cricket against strong teams in the past 6 months. But still, all the best.

Posted by Kazi_Rajib on (September 13, 2012, 10:39 GMT)

nice to dreaming that Bangladesh will played better than before because they are really prepared for T20 WC.

Posted by mahafuz1983 on (September 13, 2012, 8:58 GMT)

Batting looks thin to me.....its a very good one-day side in terms of batting....but not enough explosive batsman for my liking....bowling looks good.....I know they will play Razzak and Sunny together but not sure if its a good idea considering we have another left armer in Shakib....Games are in Pallekele....I watched SLPL....Its a fast-seaming pitch.....the fastest in subcontinent according to me.....I would take out either sunny or razzak and include a batsman Junaid or whoever....i would definitely inforce my batting considering NZ and Pak are both bowling heavy team...MY XI......1.Tamin, 2. Ashraful, 3. Junaid, 4.Shakib, 5. Nasir, 6. Musfiqur, 7. Mahmudullah, 8. Zia, 9. Mashrafee, 10. Razzak/Sunny, 11. Shafiul......I hope but don't fancy BD in T20

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 8:49 GMT)

chris did u forget that bd beat england in last world cup?how many century has swan scored?

Posted by Sylhet Roylas on (September 13, 2012, 7:39 GMT)

Best of luck Tigers I think we can easily beat Newzland if we play our real game than beating pakistan is nt a tough task fr us

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 7:23 GMT)

bangladesh best cricket team line-up World Twenty20 2012 { 01 tamim.02 ashraful-junaid 03 shakib.04 nasir.05 rahim.06 mahmudullah.07 rahman.08 mortaza.09 razzak.10 sunny.11 shafiul.}

Posted by robi-masum on (September 13, 2012, 7:10 GMT)

It is good that the whole team is improving but over confidence is bad.

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 5:21 GMT)

As much as I agree with Ashraful, I hope Bangladesh keep a low profile and get to their business without bragging about their preparation. they have a tough team with Pakistan, New Zealand and none knows what can happen with these 3 very volatile team in T20... Just get to super 8 and then talk more!!

Posted by Mad_for_Shakib on (September 13, 2012, 5:09 GMT)

Allah allways with bravo, so go Tiger go. We ppl allways with loss or win

Posted by cricTorque on (September 13, 2012, 5:06 GMT)

Well anything added to zero has to be a improvement. I hope it is not another zero as before.

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 2:33 GMT)

Bangladesh is having their their best tea mever and in a stream of making history....

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 2:29 GMT)

Bangladesh will rock in this Twenty20 world cup 2012...

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 2:24 GMT)

Graeme Swann's a better batsman.

Posted by SylhetiBangladeshiCricketExpert4u on (September 12, 2012, 23:40 GMT)

X Factior Is THE GIANT ZIAUR RAHMAN FOR ME.And Match Against Pakistan Need To be Taken Seriously Because if They Win/Lose Against NZ still They Need to Beat Pakistan to Get Confidence Of Going All The Way !!

Posted by FOTO on (September 12, 2012, 22:51 GMT)

If Ashraful messes up AGAIN and doesn't help Bangladesh... then replace him for Junaid Siddique. I really am getting annoyed that Bangladesh cannot find a single good T20 opener for Tamim. If Ash or Ziaur doesn't fire we are doomed!!!

Posted by likeintcricket on (September 12, 2012, 22:46 GMT)

I always admire the lesser teams, but for the sake of good games I hope there won't be any big upset before the second stage. I don't wanna miss any India-Pak or Aus-Eng or South Africa vs WI match. Similarly NZ and Srilanka are very exciting teams to watch. Somehow I don't like the first stage grouping. A one bad day could be the end of the road for a team. For example, A Pak lost to NZ and a rain washed against BN could be end for Pak. I would rather like the first league phase and than a knock out phase. That will give the good teams chance to come back after an upset. I could not pick any favorite from TOP -8 but India's batting and SA allrouders could see them through.

Posted by   on (September 12, 2012, 22:26 GMT)

This is in my through analyses on Bangladesh's Cricket their best possible line-up: 01.Tamim, 02.Ashraful, 03.Shakib, 04.Nasir, 05.Rahim, 06.Mahmudullah, 07.Rahman, 08.Mortaza, 09.Razzak, 10.Sunny, 11.Shafiul. Its important with Bangladesh batting that at the very beginning, play sensibly find the gaps and if possible, go for the big shot so that in the last 10 overs with all those wickets in hand, go big and destructive otherwise like their other T20 games will lose simple as that. There's no reason why Bangladesh cannot qualify, this is the the time to show who you really are in the World of Cricket.

Posted by ExtremeSpeed on (September 12, 2012, 22:10 GMT)

I've been watching a lot of T20 Cricket recently and a lot of the Cricketing analysts and experts in those matches were going through those groups in the lounge and completely written Bangladesh off infact they have made predictions for the super stages as well being the top 8 teams. This just shows that they haven't seen much of Bangladesh in the past year or so but lets just hope our boys can show it on the field and they can therefore eat their own words. Very unlikely Bangladesh will get to the final let alone win it but this is the best chance for them to show where they actually belong.

Posted by   on (September 12, 2012, 21:36 GMT)

Best of Luck...... both of our opponents are better t-20 players........... but we r close to them....... so , we can beat both of them..... but we really have to play good cricket too... the opening stand is imp in every match........

Posted by Nadeem1976 on (September 12, 2012, 21:28 GMT)

i hope bangladesh plays well in this tournament. In asia cup they were superb.

Posted by isaac-bd on (September 12, 2012, 20:54 GMT)

hopefully bangladesh will make some impression by reaching semifinals this time

Posted by Keithnkin on (September 12, 2012, 20:33 GMT)

The proof of the pudding is in the eating as many a saith. We`ll see.

Posted by sidh78 on (September 12, 2012, 19:56 GMT)

to all sl-pak fans check indias record india won 3 wc on fast green bouncy tracks.50-1983-eng.T20-2007-SA.U-19-2012-AUS.cb series in aus 2008.nest west series in england beat england by chasing 326 record.thrash sl in hobart in 36 ovrs.test series win eng -Nz -2007-2010.draw test ser.in SA 2011.DOMINATE THE DRAW TEST. not talking about subconti recorde which is more awsome.no other team in world have such record.

Posted by   on (September 12, 2012, 19:01 GMT)

We want 2 see ashraful sparking in d tournament

Posted by SCC08 on (September 12, 2012, 18:43 GMT)

"better prepared" is one thing... Try actually win a match for a change, you've been in international cricket for a while now and still very very sub-standard. Ireland are a better bet.

Posted by   on (September 12, 2012, 18:22 GMT)

Bangladesh definitely has taken over Pakistan's title of being "Unpredictable". I sincerely hope that this unpredictable team will overcome the odds and reach at least the super eight round in World T20

Posted by   on (September 12, 2012, 18:05 GMT)

Hope for the Best! We love you tigers :)

Posted by   on (September 12, 2012, 18:02 GMT)

We are eager to see what Bangladesh will do in ICC world T20. Best of luck to the tigers ...............

Posted by zinuk222 on (September 12, 2012, 17:48 GMT)

Best of luck Team Bangladesh. Ash,i hope you will be little more aggressive rather than just defending U r natural striker. First six over u should good use of it.

Posted by   on (September 12, 2012, 17:46 GMT)

Ashraful on all those tours you were rubbish...

Posted by real26_03 on (September 12, 2012, 17:44 GMT)

My final 11 is - 1)Tamin Iqbal 2)Mohammed Ashraful 3)Junaid Siddiqi 4)Shaqib Al Hasan 5)Mushfiqur Rahman 6)Nasir Hossain 7)Mahmadullah 8)Ziaur Rahman 9)Mashrafee 10)Abdur Razzak 11)Eleas Sani... :)

Posted by GreenTeam-Elite on (September 12, 2012, 17:44 GMT)

Good Luck Bangladesh!!! hope Cricket world will see some upsets from you...

Posted by real26_03 on (September 12, 2012, 17:39 GMT)

Expecting a lot from Bangladesh this time... I have one problem though.. Why Ziaur Rahman doesnt ball??? He is a bowler, so if he balls then another Specialist batsman can be played instead of a 2nd pacer... This would make the team more stable because clearly we are a batsman short..

Posted by Munafis810 on (September 12, 2012, 17:20 GMT)

Will Pakistan win against Bangladeshis???? Naah I doubt it

Posted by   on (September 12, 2012, 17:17 GMT)

Junaed wont be a bad option either, for his hitting abilities especially one innings that he played against srilanka in one T20 WC.nasir should be playing at 4. he's can build an innings at moderately fast pace along with frequent stroke making.Mahmudullah, an instinctive stroke maker,holds himself back often-he shouldnt and play his natural attacking game. farhad reza could be a good inclusion if ziaur doesnt click..more so because farhad's wicket-to-wicket bowling would come handy in SL. ziaur is not much of a bowler at all.

Posted by   on (September 12, 2012, 17:14 GMT)

Bangladesh may not have the players to win World T20 but there's no excuse for them to progress into the super stages even though its a tough group. If they do manage to progress then they obviously have nothing to lose from there onwards but anyway, all the best make us proud!

Posted by asiacricket1234 on (September 12, 2012, 17:10 GMT)

Well im sure Ashraful himself will do a great job to make sure that BD doesnt win any game. He waste so many ball even against the Associate so against the strong oppents his strike rate gonna be under 70. Donno why Bangladesh dont just get rid of this guy :/. Good Luck anyway. Hope they'll make it to the second round

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (September 12, 2012, 17:01 GMT)

Good luck to Bangladesh. Boy, it would propel the entire nation to CLOUD 9 if they won the T20 WC !!!! :D

Posted by   on (September 12, 2012, 16:55 GMT)

Good luck boys! Go and show the us what you got!

Posted by   on (September 12, 2012, 16:51 GMT)

yeah its true but bangladash is well behind from pakistan team and also new zealand is a gr8 t20 team we already seen in match against india so if bangladash can survived group match against pakistan and new zealand it will enough for bangladash...

Posted by   on (September 12, 2012, 16:45 GMT)

all i can say is ALL THE BEST boys..........!!! make us proud

Posted by   on (September 12, 2012, 16:39 GMT)

bengali tigers are very dangerous in big tournaments and hafeez & co and kiwis should be well aware of that . Good luck to them as they are very much capable to spoil party of any one of the mentioned above .

Posted by kkk999 on (September 12, 2012, 16:39 GMT)

IF YOU COMPARE THE RECORDS OF NEW ZEALAND AND BANGLADESH PLAYERS UL SEE THAT NZ PLAYERS HV MORE EXPERIENCE THAN THEM.. AND IN THE LAST ONE YEAR BANGLADESH HAVE BEEN PLAYING T20S AGAINST MINNOWS LIKE ZIMBABWE IRELAND AND SCOTLAND.. WHEREAS NZ HAVE JUST BEATEN INDIA!!.. SO BANGLADESH SUPPORTERS DONT FELL BAD BUT IT FELLS LIKE NEW ZEALAND AND PAKISTAN WILL QUALIFY FROM GROUP D... BUT I WANT BANGLADESH TO GIVE THESE BOTH TEAMS GOOSE BUMPS WHILE PLAYING.....

Posted by   on (September 12, 2012, 16:08 GMT)

Really waiting to see some action... Best wishes for the team in the coming tournament :)

Posted by   on (September 12, 2012, 16:08 GMT)

Ashraful still looks at bowler's name before playing.....I am not hopeful on him

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