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Mohammad Isam in Chittagong
March 17, 2014
Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim will not let his side take Nepal lightly, and having had a look at his training session on Monday afternoon, it is clear that they are treating this game like any other, with equal significance.
As he does so often on the eve of matches, Mushfiqur came to the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium early for the extra net session. One of the bowlers troubled him and Shamsur Rahman, who had recently joined the captain in these early nets, but otherwise, they smashed a few having had a good knock from a member of the support staff.
Bangladesh's focus has been firmly on winning games, having only won their first international match in 2014 on Sunday when they crushed Afghanistan by nine wickets. It broke a nine-match losing streak, which included two T20s against Sri Lanka last month and seven ODI defeats on the trot. Mushfiqur gave a reminder of what had been happening, to put everyone into Bangladesh's perspective.
"We will try to beat them even if it is a ten-wicket or one-wicket win," Mushfiqur said. "Whatever it is, our main focus will be to win the game, by hook or crook.
"T20 is a format where the game can change easily. Tomorrow's game is very important for us because we are plying the World T20s. The last three months the results didn't come our way, so from that aspect we are not ready to give away anything."
Mushfiqur believes the team started to think positively as soon as they beat the UAE in the Fatullah warm-up game on March 12. But he still doesn't feel at home in T20s, as he said that it is difficult to play consistently in this format.
"We are in a good position now. But honestly, it is difficult to play consistent cricket in T20 cricket. This is a shorter version and a bowler or a batsman can change the game [very quickly]. At the same time, we have quite a few match-winners, so we are a bit relaxed from that aspect."
The turn and bounce that worked so well for Bangladesh against Afghanistan at the Shere Bangla National Stadium might not have the same effect against Nepal, as Mushfiqur expects a different surface in Chittagong. He said that he would pick an extra seamer if the need arises.
"We saw the last game and the results of practice matches as well. This is not a typical Chittagong wicket. There is a bit of grass. Because it's a night game, the pacers might get a little bit more help. We might play an extra pacer.
"We still have till tomorrow afternoon to decide, and there might be more work done on the wicket. Normally, the turn that the spinners get they may not get that but we have quality spinners and good pacers."
Bangladesh ultimately will look to hold on the momentum from the Afghanistan game. Mushfiqur believes having the feeling that things are on their side is important in contests like T20s, particularly when the team had been through a rut lately.
"In the last game our bowlers bowled well and the fielders backed them up. The main target will be to keep the momentum. We won three games in a row (including the warm-up games). T20 is all about momentum. We will work to carry the momentum. Insha Allah, we will be able to adjust soon."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets hereFeeds: Mohammad Isam
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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