ICC World Twenty20 2012 September 13, 2012

Mushfiqur upbeat despite tough group

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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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on September 16, 2012, 18:23 GMT

    @Legaleagle...lool first you praise Bangladesh Cricket and now you're against Bangladesh Cricket you okay bro? Yes its true Pakistan are a far superior team compared to Bangladesh but thats because you first had full membership status in the 1950s whereas Bangladesh in the early 2000s but yeah the fact is Bangladesh have been really close beating Pakistan in the last 3 ODIs and its only a matter of time we start beating you on a regular bases considering the fact that most of your top players are old and going to retire soon whereas our Bangladesh team is the youngest of the lot so yeap good luck in that. 20 years? have you forgotten the recent Under-19 tournament where Bangladesh destroyed Pakistan? a tournament all about the future so :)

  • Legaleagle on September 16, 2012, 13:42 GMT

    Bangladesh needs to wait 20 years or more to even think about challenging Pakistan. You are no where near the talent of Pakistan team. Bangladesh will not stand anywhere if they come in front of Pakistan.

  • on September 15, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    hoping to win......... we think it's not a tough task to win against pak and nz....... our tigers can do it with the bless of Allah

  • M_Rakibul_Islam on September 15, 2012, 6:38 GMT

    @ AsifMaqbool: It's ridiculous feelings mate! BD, NZ, PK r in same grp. So only two of them can progress in 2nd round & then to semis. So ur prediction is wrong. I think BD & PK r favorites in this group as Kiwis r too weak to click in sub-continent. They didn't per4m well against IND. In fact they were whitewashed by BD two years back in sub-continent condition.

  • ExtremeSpeed on September 14, 2012, 19:06 GMT

    Its funny that 4 of the 10 full members captains are wicket-keepers.

  • Fan_of_bengal on September 14, 2012, 16:06 GMT

    Bangladesh should go for the kill from start against New zealand, bcoz on their day new zealand can be very tough team to beat. Tigers should keep in mind the followings 1. Dont lose wickets in pairs(as they always do) and keep up the run rates 2.Dont allow the opponent to go away when they are in pressure. Go tigers go......

  • on September 14, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    bangladeshis r not wise. They knew they will play in a pitch where its for fast bowlers and they dropped a 'fit' and good,in form pacer nazmul where the two selected pacers are just recovered from injury. But ofcourse they have their own plan and i am sure the spinners are going to work as the spin legend saqlain mushtak is their spin coach. Good luck.

  • AsifMaqbool on September 14, 2012, 14:59 GMT

    I feel Bangladesh, Pakistan, West Indies, New Zealand would play Semi's

  • on September 14, 2012, 14:40 GMT

    Best of Luck tigers . We all with you .

  • on September 14, 2012, 9:48 GMT

    i hope team bangladesh will be do something for us

  • on September 16, 2012, 18:23 GMT

    @Legaleagle...lool first you praise Bangladesh Cricket and now you're against Bangladesh Cricket you okay bro? Yes its true Pakistan are a far superior team compared to Bangladesh but thats because you first had full membership status in the 1950s whereas Bangladesh in the early 2000s but yeah the fact is Bangladesh have been really close beating Pakistan in the last 3 ODIs and its only a matter of time we start beating you on a regular bases considering the fact that most of your top players are old and going to retire soon whereas our Bangladesh team is the youngest of the lot so yeap good luck in that. 20 years? have you forgotten the recent Under-19 tournament where Bangladesh destroyed Pakistan? a tournament all about the future so :)

  • Legaleagle on September 16, 2012, 13:42 GMT

    Bangladesh needs to wait 20 years or more to even think about challenging Pakistan. You are no where near the talent of Pakistan team. Bangladesh will not stand anywhere if they come in front of Pakistan.

  • on September 15, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    hoping to win......... we think it's not a tough task to win against pak and nz....... our tigers can do it with the bless of Allah

  • M_Rakibul_Islam on September 15, 2012, 6:38 GMT

    @ AsifMaqbool: It's ridiculous feelings mate! BD, NZ, PK r in same grp. So only two of them can progress in 2nd round & then to semis. So ur prediction is wrong. I think BD & PK r favorites in this group as Kiwis r too weak to click in sub-continent. They didn't per4m well against IND. In fact they were whitewashed by BD two years back in sub-continent condition.

  • ExtremeSpeed on September 14, 2012, 19:06 GMT

    Its funny that 4 of the 10 full members captains are wicket-keepers.

  • Fan_of_bengal on September 14, 2012, 16:06 GMT

    Bangladesh should go for the kill from start against New zealand, bcoz on their day new zealand can be very tough team to beat. Tigers should keep in mind the followings 1. Dont lose wickets in pairs(as they always do) and keep up the run rates 2.Dont allow the opponent to go away when they are in pressure. Go tigers go......

  • on September 14, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    bangladeshis r not wise. They knew they will play in a pitch where its for fast bowlers and they dropped a 'fit' and good,in form pacer nazmul where the two selected pacers are just recovered from injury. But ofcourse they have their own plan and i am sure the spinners are going to work as the spin legend saqlain mushtak is their spin coach. Good luck.

  • AsifMaqbool on September 14, 2012, 14:59 GMT

    I feel Bangladesh, Pakistan, West Indies, New Zealand would play Semi's

  • on September 14, 2012, 14:40 GMT

    Best of Luck tigers . We all with you .

  • on September 14, 2012, 9:48 GMT

    i hope team bangladesh will be do something for us

  • on September 14, 2012, 7:31 GMT

    The Tigers(Bangladesh) are surely hoping to face Pakistan. Not to mention, they have a score to settle. Pakistan would have to withstand the tigers' incursion to survive. Pakistan devoured the cat's lair and the abode in the Asia Cup Finals. They plundered the grail, the tigers were debilitated and pushed to the limits. Pakistan would be on the receiving end of the Tigers' wrath and I can certainly tell you this.... RETRIBUTION WILL BE ENTAILED! Mushfiq the leader of the pack, Shakib the General and Tamim, the leader of the cavalry has set the sail with the rest of the comrades. They will reach the Isle of Lanka and would countermand everything. Their eyes would be on the grail( The Trophy) and they are ready to fight for it. They never relinquish! Not to mention, I root Pakistan just like I root for the Aussies. But the Tigers are the heartbeats of 160 million Bangladeshis.. Anyhow, Good Luck to our adversaries!

  • SubzC on September 14, 2012, 7:26 GMT

    As I am getting told the pitch Bangladesh will be playing on are suitable for Fast bowlers , due to bounce and swing , I would play these players 1. Tamim Iqbal 2. Ashraful , if these two can get a good start set good platform don't need an explosive start just a normal 8 runs per over will do , then 3. Shakib as he can build the innings up play clever shots and play big shots when needed to , 4. Mushfiq should come on and just stir the innings along , 5. I think Nasir should come on and go wild at batsmans get a odd 30 in like 17-18balls , then 6. Mahmudullah to come and carry on the innings sensibly , Number 7 Zia to come hit some big blasts really go at the Bowlers , at 8. Mortaza again to go at the batsman , then Shafiul Razzak and Sunny.

    Bowlers I think Mortaza and Shafiul should open 2 overs each , then Razzak and Sunny have 2 overs each , then Shakib and Mahmudullah 1 over each first 10oversdone then last 10 mortaza razzak shafiul shakib sunny mybe put parttime bowler if needed

  • on September 14, 2012, 6:40 GMT

    wishing u best of luck bangali in t20 wc we (pakistanis) love ur team...

  • on September 14, 2012, 4:46 GMT

    My best XI for the t20 world cup:

    1) Tamim 2) Ashraful 3) Nasir 4) Shakib 5) Mushfik 6) Mahmudullah 7) Zia 8) Mashrafe 9) Sunny 10) Razzak 11)Shafiul

  • FrenchCricketFan on September 14, 2012, 3:02 GMT

    among the 4 weak teams (ireland, afg , zim, ban), I think bangladesh has the most possibility to create upset in this t20 wc because other 3 teams are up against even tougher teams. However, their pace balling is poor and the pitch that they will play in group stage offer nothing for spinners, so I guess they dont have good chance to beat pak or kiwi . I see good future in nasir hosain and elius sunny. If ban get some more new promising players like nasir and elias, ban would be a decent team. So I dont think they are too far away from being a good team as suggested by apurba mridha ie their neighbor people.

  • Legaleagle on September 14, 2012, 2:24 GMT

    Allah is with Pakistan!! Paksistan will win Inshallah!

  • on September 14, 2012, 1:50 GMT

    Bangladesh will win t2 0 world cup.... no doubt in that...

  • Lakpj on September 14, 2012, 1:35 GMT

    Bangladesh have a tough group and on the other hand they play at Pallekalle where the pitch has bit of pace and bounce with swing. That is an area where they are quite weak. With both NZ and Pak having good pace bowlers Bangladesh would struggle to cope with the conditions there.

  • Dashgar on September 14, 2012, 0:37 GMT

    Every group is tough for the third team. Given how ridiculously short the group stage is there is no room for error (if India get knocked out in the groups then expect the BCCI to rain fire from the skies). That said I think Bangladesh are by far the by far the biggest chance to progress because they are the best 3rd team and NZ are the worst 2nd team. I'd also rate Afghanistan a chance to knock off England who are notoriously awful in Asia.

  • zaf100 on September 13, 2012, 21:28 GMT

    @ Smith Robertson I don't know how much cricket you have played yourself because your judgement is not based on facts and figures but emotions. Let me tell you Pakistan U-19 beat Australia in Australia before the world cup 2-1 and eventual winners India were very lucky to win against Pakistan by the narrowest of margin of 1 wicket. Yes Pakistan end up 8th in the final standings but bit of luck they could easily had won the tournament. That shows there is not much difference between teams at that level. Now for Australia to qualify for second round it's only because they are in a weaker pool where they have to win only against Ireland to go through but even Ireland rankings is higher than Australia so good luck. Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and England will qualify for semis. My prediction for final is Pakistan vs India.

  • Quddus-Mamu on September 13, 2012, 21:08 GMT

    @CharlesDS: When you will lose against Afghanistan in T20 world cup, it will not be a fluke anymore.

  • ExtremeSpeed on September 13, 2012, 21:03 GMT

    Rahim is a young and new captain and he's just started to capitalize on his role and speaking sensibly on Bangladesh's aspects which is great to see. Realistically Bangladesh doesn't at all look like they'll win it but if this team can shock people and go as far as they can then it shows where Bangladesh are going at and will give huge confidence come the West Indies series after this tournament.

  • ExtremeSpeed on September 13, 2012, 21:03 GMT

    Rahim is a young and new captain and he's just started to capitalize on his role and speaking sensibly on Bangladesh's aspects which is great to see. Realistically Bangladesh doesn't at all look like they'll win it but if this team can shock people and go as far as they can then it shows where Bangladesh are going at and will give huge confidence come the West Indies series after this tournament.

  • ExtremeSpeed on September 13, 2012, 20:59 GMT

    @Apurba Mridha - loool What do you know the future or something bro? I can see Bangladesh Cricket bothers you somewhat considering you have been posting negative comments on our pages frequently but that's fine bro because whatever people say about Bangladesh's Cricket love them or hate them we're here to stay so good luck and all the best ;)"

  • davidatlas999 on September 13, 2012, 20:38 GMT

    recently bngla played some very good cricket as a pkaistani i am worried about our group it is a strong group compare to others.hope pakistan make it to super 8.best of luck for bngla daish but not against pakistan plz :d

  • bdsmaruf on September 13, 2012, 20:29 GMT

    don't say luck. nobody can help you more than yourself. musi should think it.

  • gyusuf6 on September 13, 2012, 20:23 GMT

    @CharlesDSand and Apurba Mridha, Good Luck to India. Don't forget you have just lost to NewZealand last week.Please do not underestimate anyone and because of that you lost the game to them. Be humble and respect others.

  • Munkeymomo on September 13, 2012, 20:22 GMT

    All the best to them, Rahim is a good guy and Bangladesh are improving all the time.

  • bored_iam on September 13, 2012, 20:05 GMT

    WI,SL,SA the favs. but all three have made it a habit of choking when it matters. Pak the dark horses here. Don't see Eng (minus KP) or Aus winning it this time though.

  • on September 13, 2012, 19:20 GMT

    @CharlesDS...Sorry!, no excuses mate, India may be better than Bangladesh but our win was no fluke because Bangladesh simply played brilliantly and if you take SRT century away, India would've been even more serious of a trouble. The fact is that there's not much difference between India and Bangladesh youngsters now.

  • H.M.Tareq on September 13, 2012, 18:48 GMT

    I think Bangladesh will do better in this tournament. Because they are far confident than before. Besides this, most of the players are in form . Especially Tamim, Ashraful.

    So, my best wishes to Bangladesh Team. Good luck Tigers.

  • on September 13, 2012, 18:22 GMT

    @ CharlesDS on (September 13 2012, 16:48 PM GMT): I understand your pain, CharlesDS. What you said might help you to reduce your pain.

  • on September 13, 2012, 18:02 GMT

    Though Australia are clear favourites to win this this time around I must say that the declining Pakistan who recently came 8th in Under-19 recently has no chance of even making it to round 2 :DD

  • on September 13, 2012, 17:54 GMT

    oh..sure..bd can win worldcup. bt not this time...it will b 100 yr ltr :p

  • Sarfin on September 13, 2012, 17:37 GMT

    @ CharlesDS, I don't think it was a fluke. Bangladesh has a better record against India compared to their record against other top teams. The fact is, India is way better than Bangladesh but not unbeatable as they did it for several times in home and neutral venues...

  • kc69 on September 13, 2012, 17:37 GMT

    I believe Bangladesh is the team that makes its group tougher unlike others.I will not be surprised if Bangladesh knock out Pakistan.They are as good as any other favourite teams in this tournament(Only beause of subcontinental conditions)

  • on September 13, 2012, 17:30 GMT

    Go tiger go, Allah n we bd ppl allways with u

  • on September 13, 2012, 17:28 GMT

    Go ahead......play your game, I hope for your success and I think we deserve something huge.

  • on September 13, 2012, 16:59 GMT

    Bangladesh team should try to maintain consistency in batting and bowling order. Regular order must not be disturbed except for condition of pitch or extraordinary circumstances.

  • dulabhai on September 13, 2012, 16:58 GMT

    Win or no win..we are behind you 100%. Go Tigers!

  • CharlesDS on September 13, 2012, 16:48 GMT

    sorry banga ...its india all the way...india loss to Bang in asia cup was a fluke

  • Kazi_Rajib on September 13, 2012, 16:37 GMT

    Go ahead Bangladesh.. this is the time to prove.. & hope you will do it...

  • on September 13, 2012, 16:34 GMT

    I love how the tournament organizers loved to give hard time to the new comers .

  • joynal693 on September 13, 2012, 16:17 GMT

    I am differing with Mushfiq because BD would have more chances if they play both the games on Premadasa stadium with their spinner trio at the track like BD. Still we wish best of luck & expecting a good fight with them.

  • billy_bilal on September 13, 2012, 15:48 GMT

    why bangladesh been given so weak warm up games. they deserved at least one against a stronger side.

  • on September 13, 2012, 15:38 GMT

    Tamim and Ashraful need to make an explosive start....... My X1 would be : 1) Tamim, 2) Ashraful, 3) Shakib, 4) Mushfik, 5) Mahmudullah, 6) Nasir, 7) Zia, 8) Mashrafe, 9)Shafiul, 10) Sunny, 11) Razzak.......

    Many things will depend on Mushfik and Mahmudullah how they handle the middle overs......... Tamim , Ashraful and Shakib will flourish ............. Nasir perfect for number 6, Zia and Mashrafe good for finishing onslaught.......Sunny and Razzak should make themselves count.......

  • Legaleagle on September 13, 2012, 15:09 GMT

    Good luck Bangladesh!! Hope you are not a pushover as always.

  • Mad_for_Shakib on September 13, 2012, 15:05 GMT

    Go tiger go, Allah n we bd ppl allways with u

  • on September 13, 2012, 15:00 GMT

    Go Bangladesh and Pakistan........Love from Bangladesh

  • on September 13, 2012, 14:55 GMT

    20/20 is anyone's game and anyone can win on a given day. The Tiger's do have a tough group. But they have beaten the Kiwis before and hopefully they can repeat. Pakistan has the best bowler in the world. But Ajmal has not done well against Bangladesh. And Pakistan's batting is the most unpredictable. So anything is possible.

  • on September 13, 2012, 14:54 GMT

    Best of luck tigers .......................

  • Tokai69 on September 13, 2012, 14:39 GMT

    Hope Ajmal will not be dangerous in Pallekele, and luck always favors the brave! Don't give up prematurely believing luck is not in your side, rather fight to the bone up to the end!!

  • on September 13, 2012, 14:34 GMT

    well this time they are confident. and self-confident is the best thing. hope u will win the trophy. GO-TIGERS-GO...............

  • loveshah on September 13, 2012, 14:21 GMT

    @keithnkin-- under 19 bd captain was highest run getter with two magnificent century, he was the mvp of the tournament

  • on September 13, 2012, 14:18 GMT

    The interesting thing about the Group D matches is that they'll be playing in a Stadium which doesn't offer much for spinners because I've watched some matches of SLPL at Pallekele and believe me its a very bouncy and fast track so Bangladesh have a lot of thinking to do on whether to play with 3 seamers or spinners. Obviously Bangladesh are not the favourites but there's no excuse for them this time to make it to the next stage.

  • BHARATLIFE on September 13, 2012, 14:13 GMT

    TOUGH GROUP.....!!!!!! I think they got a good/best group, even SA, nowadays are playing spin well WI in T20 have good players. Pak they are group toppers, but i think i would be "shocked" if NZ got through. HUGE FAN ON Ban cricket!!!!

  • on September 13, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    they have a chance against Pakistan as Kiwis will always play the game to their particular standard which on most days is above bangla but you are never sure of which pakistan will turn up on the day. if they have a bad day, its great chance for Bangladesh to beat Pakistan nut backig green shirts to win their group.... Go Pakistan......

  • Keithnkin on September 13, 2012, 13:42 GMT

    He seems to be getting smarter and wiser with time. Hopefully he will be captaining the team to a good result. The under-19 BD captain shot himself in the foot last month with smart alec comment if I recall right.

  • cairo on September 13, 2012, 13:40 GMT

    Tiger can win title...........go tiger go.........(samu bloger)

  • cyberstudent on September 13, 2012, 13:26 GMT

    good luck to BD from Pak.

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  • cyberstudent on September 13, 2012, 13:26 GMT

    good luck to BD from Pak.

  • cairo on September 13, 2012, 13:40 GMT

    Tiger can win title...........go tiger go.........(samu bloger)

  • Keithnkin on September 13, 2012, 13:42 GMT

    He seems to be getting smarter and wiser with time. Hopefully he will be captaining the team to a good result. The under-19 BD captain shot himself in the foot last month with smart alec comment if I recall right.

  • on September 13, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    they have a chance against Pakistan as Kiwis will always play the game to their particular standard which on most days is above bangla but you are never sure of which pakistan will turn up on the day. if they have a bad day, its great chance for Bangladesh to beat Pakistan nut backig green shirts to win their group.... Go Pakistan......

  • BHARATLIFE on September 13, 2012, 14:13 GMT

    TOUGH GROUP.....!!!!!! I think they got a good/best group, even SA, nowadays are playing spin well WI in T20 have good players. Pak they are group toppers, but i think i would be "shocked" if NZ got through. HUGE FAN ON Ban cricket!!!!

  • on September 13, 2012, 14:18 GMT

    The interesting thing about the Group D matches is that they'll be playing in a Stadium which doesn't offer much for spinners because I've watched some matches of SLPL at Pallekele and believe me its a very bouncy and fast track so Bangladesh have a lot of thinking to do on whether to play with 3 seamers or spinners. Obviously Bangladesh are not the favourites but there's no excuse for them this time to make it to the next stage.

  • loveshah on September 13, 2012, 14:21 GMT

    @keithnkin-- under 19 bd captain was highest run getter with two magnificent century, he was the mvp of the tournament

  • on September 13, 2012, 14:34 GMT

    well this time they are confident. and self-confident is the best thing. hope u will win the trophy. GO-TIGERS-GO...............

  • Tokai69 on September 13, 2012, 14:39 GMT

    Hope Ajmal will not be dangerous in Pallekele, and luck always favors the brave! Don't give up prematurely believing luck is not in your side, rather fight to the bone up to the end!!

  • on September 13, 2012, 14:54 GMT

    Best of luck tigers .......................