World T20 news March 9, 2014

Mushfiqur eyes revenge against Afghanistan


Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim has said that they are looking to take revenge on Afghanistan in their opening day World T20 game on March 16. The home team of the tournament's fifth edition is looking ahead to a turnaround in form and results after having been without a win since November last year.

Last month, they drew the Chittagong Test against Sri Lanka but since then, Bangladesh have lost the two-match T20 series as well as seven ODIs in a row, including a 32-run loss to Afghanistan on March 1.

"They [Afghanistan] will also be under pressure," Mushfiqur said. "They would like to do something in such a big event. But we want to take revenge after being beaten in the Asia Cup. Our first target is to cross the first round, but more importantly, we are concentrating on the first game against Afghanistan. We have two matches after that against Nepal and Hong Kong.

"We have found out more information about them [Afghanistan] lately. We have played against them, which helped in that regard. They might know enough about us but Shakib [Al Hasan], Mashrafe [Mortaza] and Tamim [Iqbal] didn't play the Asia Cup match against them. They must have seen these players on TV, but it is a different ball-game when they play against them."

Bangladesh had Afghanistan in big trouble at 90 for 5 but a 164-run sixth wicket stand between Samiullah Shenwari and Asghar Stanikzai wrested the initiative away from the home side. Bangladesh's opening batsmen were dismissed for 0 and 1, and the middle-order misfired despite most of the batsmen getting starts.

Mushfiqur hopes that Mashrafe, Tamim and Sohag Gazi will be fit for the first game, with the trio still recovering from injuries. Gazi hurt his bowling hand during the Afghanistan game while Mashrafe suffered a side strain in the India match. Tamim missed the Asia Cup after suffering a neck strain during the Sri Lanka series.

Mushfiqur himself hurt his finger during the second Test against Sri Lanka and have given Anamul Haque the wicketkeeping gloves in the last seven ODIs, but he said he hopes to recover soon. "I had another X-ray. I will start keeping from tomorrow, and the pain has been less. I hope to keep wickets from March 16.

"I believe that we will find everyone fully fit which will make us stronger. I think it is important to do well on the particular day and overcome the pressure."

Mushfiqur believes their recent poor performance has made the team a lot keener, and urged his players to step up. What also motivates them is their poor World T20 performance till date.

"We beat West Indies in the 2007 tournament but haven't quite played consistently. We don't play too many T20s like the other international teams which hinders our consistent performance. Recently we have played some domestic T20 competitions, where our players have done well.

"We are more focused on working hard, and showing our performance. We are hungrier now. We want to show that Bangladesh can take up a big challenge in this World T20. We need to be calm under pressure, and there are guys in the dressing-room who play better in pressure situations. I hope they do that in the coming days."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Abdul on March 13, 2014, 12:56 GMT

    Mushfiq is not the right captain for a team like BD. Why did not he resign this time. This should have been the right moment and he knew if he did, board would have accepted. BCB should fire him.

  • Nasim on March 12, 2014, 18:55 GMT

    @ Shukoor Hadi: Bro, chill! Neither BCB nor your Board is run by crazy fans and while the elitist test nations love watching dogfights between "minnows" doesn't mean they will be happy to play with one. While I always wondered why can't there be 11/12 test nations, you must admit, the standards set by those 'elite's forced some fellow Afghans to take BD as an obstacle for their test status and thus go offensive on BD. But truth is we'll only have each other to play with for a long time to come...

  • Dummy4 on March 12, 2014, 13:06 GMT

    Bangladesh should seriously think about the captaincy. To an outsider it appears that Mushfqiur has failed to get the best of the team. At the Asia Cup Bangladesh failed as a team even though their players performed individually. At crucial times the Bangladeshis failed to keep a cool head and lost matches. Matches against Pakistan and Afghanistan was for the Bangladesh to win. But they lost. They seem to lack killer instinct. In the Asia Cup Afghanistan looked a better prepared team than Bangladesh. I wouldn't be surprised if Afghanistan beat Bangladeshis again on the 16th March as Afghanistan seems to have a better bowling unit than Bangladesh. Talk of revenge will only put Bangladesh under further pressure.

  • Dummy4 on March 12, 2014, 8:58 GMT

    @Cricket_is_Unpopular, I went through all comments in this forum, you can rarely find Afghans commenting, comments are mostly from other countries who support Afghan team., if Bangladesh Invited Afghans for BD domestic matches it was not because BD intended to let Afghans use their facilities (though it helped Afghans to expose to world's good cricketers), actually it was because Afghans were cost effective than other countries in terms of fee meanwhile full of talent and each one of them proved themselves to be game changer..... it is you BD guys trying to be aggressive by issuing harsh statements.

    Helping others is a good thing, whether it is , politically and militarily, economically or in sport but what I believe is not good to flaunt and show off of the help, Afghans really appreciated what BD had done for Afghan cricket, but now, seeing the boast from a Bangladeshi I have to rethink how giver Bangladeshis are.

  • NASIR on March 11, 2014, 17:20 GMT

    Afghanistan are very talented and hard working team with naturally talented players. One thing for sure they are going to give tough time to many oppositions. It wo'nt be cake walk for Bangla team to avenge Asia Cup defeat.

  • hazzaz on March 11, 2014, 14:40 GMT

    It is ok to use any term, as long as it helps your team. Mushfiq is very committed and sentiment when used positively can bring good results. I believe Bangladesh will go very far in this tournament.

  • A on March 11, 2014, 13:56 GMT

    Mushy does not have a Masters in "English", I don't think revenge is the exact word be meant to use He definately is eager to come out positive, the problem is not with him its something general with BD people, they, we are passionate people - which ironically is also our biggest problem. I am not taking anything away from Afganistan, but they are new and a growing team, they won against BD but failed to post a challenge in all the other matches, BD on the other hand challenged all tje other teams in all the games so their ability is unquestionable, what is and remains an issue is their ability to.handle presaure from expectations. Good all.teams!

  • Unni on March 11, 2014, 13:18 GMT

    @ TNAmarkFromIndia :Agree with you 100% and the difference in celebration is also shows the belief in themselves.When a team which believes that they are capable winning against the opposition wins the match the celebration will be muted.When a team which themselves are not sure they could win against an opposition wins the match then they will be delirious.Even against a third string West Indies Bangladeshis were delirious.

  • Al on March 11, 2014, 11:48 GMT

    Dear Mushfiqur.. Revenge they say is a dish best served cold. You lost to a decent Afghan team, hugely talented but with no proper coaching. Get over your loss and don't just try to win against Afghanistan. Think big, and look the big opponents in the eye. Your team has the players to win the World T 20 cup, but its up to your as skipper to orchestra it without descending to petty tit for tats!

  • ESPN on March 11, 2014, 11:44 GMT

    Revenge is a very odd word.

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