Asia Cup: Beating India is no longer an upset, says Mashrafe Mortaza
Bangladesh pacer Mashrafe Mortaza feels that playing in front of home crowd would be a boost and the Indian team will also have to make some adjustment having played their last couple of series away from sub-continental conditions.
Bangladesh's premier pacer Mashrafe Mortaza on Tuesday said that beating a heavyweight Indian cricket team is no longer considered as an "upset" as the hosts have defeated them on a few occasions in the near past including the last edition of Asia Cup. "I don't count a win against India as an upset. We have done it before. They are a good team in sub-continent. We have that in our mind," the 30-year-old said ahead of their Asia Cup opener against India on Wednesday. (Click here for latest on Asia Cup)
Mortaza feels that playing in front of home crowd would be a boost and the Indian team will also have to make some adjustment having played their last couple of series away from sub-continental conditions. "They have been playing on different wickets in SA and NZ. We are playing in front of a home support. If we can come up with our best cricket I think we can fight it out. God willing, we will." (Preview: India look to get back to winning ways)
But Mortaza was quick to add that they would have to be in the top of their game to beat a world class side like India. "They have a world-class batting line-up, they are never weak. Their recent performance in the sub-continent has been great. It won't be an easy task, and we have to play our best cricket. We beat them two years ago, the most important thing is what happens tomorrow."
On Dhoni's absence, he said: "They are without key player Dhoni but their batting line-up is still world-class. They can beat anybody. They can beat anybody in the world."
It's not only India's batting mainstay Virat Kohli but Bangladesh are also keeping in mind the opening duo of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma who could be threatening on sub-continent wickets. "He (Kohli) has won many matches for India and has proved his capability many times. But our focus will be on everyone. But they have other good players too, like the two openers who are also world class," he added. (Also read: Kohli ready to test himself as Team India skipper)
After winning the New Zealand series 3-0, Bangladesh went down to Sri Lanka by an identical margin in the one-dayers as Mortaza feels it's time to get back to winning ways. "We haven't played our best cricket recently, but we will hopefully recover quickly. A team takes a bit of time to recover from a bad patch, be it with batting, bowling or fielding.
"We are trying to settle down quickly. We are talking to each other, to make a quick turnaround. We are discussing in our practice, hopefully we will return to winning ways soon," he added.
Mortaza admitted that the team will miss the services of Tamim Iqbal (injured) and Shakib al Hasan (banned) but he expected the youngsters to step up. "Everyone is positive, and will try to support the team. Those two are big players. We will miss them. But we have good players, from whom we can expect a good result. (Related: 'Outsider' Karthik hopes to lift Indian team spirit)
"We all are excited, especially the younger players. They want to show something. It is the same in all International matches. It is a major event, and I know that everyone is trying their best. If most of us are going to perform, we have a good chance."