Bangladesh v Pakistan, World T20 2012, Group D, Pallekele September 24, 2012

'We have nothing to lose' - Mushfiqur


You summoned incredible courage once and beat up the school bully back in class five, but it doesn't help if till then, and thereafter, he has thrashed you every single time. The memory of that one triumph might even start to fade with each successive failure. In 44 meetings, Bangladesh have defeated Pakistan all of once, in the 1999 World Cup. It's been more than 13 years and 37 losses since that heady Northampton evening. The unfortunate part for Bangladesh is, even a win, unlikely as it seems, may not be enough to keep them in the tournament. Nothing less than a comprehensive victory will do.

Mushfiqur Rahim knows what he is up against on Tuesday, but held out a brave front. "It is difficult but not an impossible task," Mushfiqur said. "It is Twenty20, and England were bowled out last night for 80 [against India]. Who would have thought? Pakistan are good but not unbeatable. If we play our best cricket tomorrow, if everyone puts their hands up and shows guts anything is possible. We know where we have to improve and to how go about it tomorrow."

He also said something which rings true on the other side, considering the kind of rumblings the 1999 loss caused in Pakistan. "There's pressure in every game. They'd think in the same way. Pakistan don't want to lose against us, that is for sure. We have to come hard and we will give our best shot."

Bangladesh rely so much on their spinners but the fact that they played on a fresh pitch against New Zealand, and will do the same tomorrow, has forced Mushfiqur to consider playing another quick bowler. "I thought we made a mistake in the first game as the wicket was not that helpful for the left-arm spinners. We thought there would be something in the day. That is why we choose to field. We didn't bowl well also.

"We are looking at a fresh wicket tomorrow and it is also a night game. We have a few seaming all-round and pace bowling options. Probably we will have one more [quick] bowler in place of a spinner. We will come back tomorrow, have a look at the wicket again and see how it goes."

Mushfiqur said Bangladesh are in a tough group, with New Zealand and Pakistan, but said tomorrow was a chance to perform against another top side. "It brings a big challenge for us. They have great strength in their bowling and their batting is also good. It is one more opportunity, a do-or-die game for us. We have nothing to lose. Our boys did not put their hands up in the previous game, hopefully we will learn from our mistakes."

Fresh pitch or not, Mushfiqur knows Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Hafeez will be a handful. "He's [Ajmal] a big factor. He will start bowling in the Powerplay when we have to take some risks. We can't play all their bowlers normally, but attack some. We have players for that, and we are planning in that way."

Bangladesh have Saqlain Mushtaq, the former Pakistan offspinner, travelling with them as spin-bowling consultant. He's been giving tips to the spinners in the squad and has also bowled to the Bangladesh batsmen during training. "He is telling us how to read Ajmal, Afridi, [Umar] Gul and Hafeez. But the application of it will depend on us."

The last time these two sides met, Bangladesh came within one stroke of winning the Asia Cup in Mirpur in what was ultimately an emotional loss. Mushfiqur said that was a different format and admitted Bangladesh would not have the same kind of confidence they had that night in Mirpur. A more revealing stat is that after beating West Indies in their opening game of the World Twenty20in 2007, Bangladesh have lost nine successive matches in the event. It is almost as distressing as their record against Pakistan. They are up against a lot of history tomorrow.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on September 25, 2012, 15:05 GMT

    Bangladesh heaters - let's talk.....apparently, Bangladeshs doing good against the best bowling attack of the world. :-)

  • Musa on September 25, 2012, 13:33 GMT

    i m a pakistani fan and i am extremely disheartened by the comments below by the fans yes they played badly in the first match but wait they are humans and humans have the habit of making mistakes time and again but dont degrade them by these foolish comments by making fun of their captain he said "they have nothing to lose" what would have he said then other than this in a situation like this?? we will destroy pakistan team and we will win ?? then u guys wud have commented and made fun of him that he is over confident!! i mean come on dont degrade someone so much that he cant get up. i want bangladesh to give a good fight although being a pakistani fan i want pakistan to win but i feel for bangladeshis afterall they are people which once were our national brothers!

  • Santu on September 25, 2012, 13:10 GMT

    Pakistan is beatable, no doubt about that. But 'We have nothing to lose' statement from Bangladesh shows they have no motivation to play well and beat Pakistan.

  • Dummy4 on September 25, 2012, 13:04 GMT

    We all knew that B'desh had nothing to lose. Now, even their Captain confirmed it.

  • rubel on September 25, 2012, 12:41 GMT

    best of luck......CHUDI BD

  • Dummy4 on September 25, 2012, 12:30 GMT

    My best wishes to the Bangladesh national cricket team .We are improving day by day.If we play good cricket today,we will win against Pakistan.We have nothing to lose but today is the right time for proving that we are the Tiger!

  • Tim on September 25, 2012, 12:23 GMT

    Stupid tournament where you can win one of your first two games and be kicked out of the tournament. Unfair on every team, not just the lower ranked teams like Bangladesh.

  • Nadeem on September 25, 2012, 12:18 GMT

    I, being a Pakistani, looking forward to Pakistan's victory against Bangladesh. Making a little fun of Mushfiqur Rahim's statement is not that bad. We can do it to any captain from any country as it provides some amusement to all of us which is a very important part of our lives, but the fact is Mushfiqur Rahim's statement is very sensible. When he says "We have nothing to lose", it is most likely encouraging his team players to " play without any panic and fearlessly and without taking any extra pressure but try your best to win it. Even if you lose, you will not suffer a lot as that is what everyone is expecting even from your own country". The sentence "We have nothing to lose" has an importance in the history of the world too. Even in wars in ancient times, on many occasions when a weaker side declared "We have nothing to lose", they fought very fearlessly and turned the table. I, as a Pakistan, praying for Pakistan's victory but as a human would always like to tell the truth.

  • Wijitha on September 25, 2012, 12:18 GMT

    LOL, Yes he is correct, When you have lost every thing, there is nothing more to loose. The progress of Bangladesh cricket is very poor. They have a fair amount of talent. what they lack is a cricket brains, player who can inspire the team to take the team one step up. Like Arjuna and the co did for Sri Lankan team in 1996. Bangladesh will slip down further until they find a Swift Leader who has a cricket brain and a thoughtful mind.

  • Dummy4 on September 25, 2012, 12:11 GMT

    Tigers, forget equations forget super8 facts ! Just rise one more time and knock down Pakistan in any result. We just want win. Go tigers go ! Best of luck , tigers :X

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