Mushfiqur upbeat despite tough group
Mushfiqur Rahim, the Bangladesh captain, has said that his team is capable of "doing anything" with luck on their side in the ICC World Twenty20. But the reality of being placed along two dangerous sides in the group stages of a tight format, where one loss could end the campaign within four days, has kept him firmly grounded.
Bangladesh are in Group D alongside New Zealand, a team that often exceeds expectations in global tournaments, and Pakistan, a team which has reached the semi-finals in every World T20 so far.
"They [Pakistan] are a really good, balanced team and they won this tournament in 2009," Mushfiqur said at a press conference in Colombo. "New Zealand are also quite strong in T20s, so we must do well with our skills and probably with some luck, anything is possible."
But not all of Mushfiqur's self-belief in his team is misplaced; he has overseen its most comprehensive build-up for a Twenty20 tournament till date having played 13 games in the last four months in varied conditions against an assortment of teams. Even better was their performance in the Asia Cup in March where they were three runs away from a maiden trophy.
"It [The Asia Cup] was a huge tournament for us, especially because we beat India and Sri Lanka and nearly beat Pakistan twice," Mushfiqur said. "In tournaments like the Asia Cup, you need a bit of luck along with the skills and we missed that luck in the final. So if the luck is in our favor in this tournament, we can do anything.
"In the Twenty20 format you never know who the favorite is. On a particular day if you can do well in all three departments you can beat anyone. Also it is very important to play consistent cricket in T20s.
"We have two warm-up matches against Zimbabwe (on September 15) and Ireland (on September 17) and hopefully we'll do well there and carry on ahead with the momentum."
One of the advantages for the Bangladesh team will be the recent experience of the likes of Mushfiqur, opener Tamim Iqbal and allrounder Mahmudullah of playing in Pallekele during the Sri Lanka Premier League last month. "A couple of us recently played in the SLPL and did well," Mushfiqur said. "Our group matches are in Pallekele and that's not a spinning track. Our pace attack is quite balanced so we hope to continue to do well with the spinners and pacers. It will give us a good chance to move to the second round."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Bangladesh