The Telegraph
Wednesday , February 26 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

Mashrafe takes a swipe at India

Mirpur: Bangladesh pacer Mashrafe Mortaza, on Tuesday, said he doesn’t consider beating India as an “upset” as they have defeated the world champions on a few occasions in the past, including in the last edition of the Asia Cup.

“I don’t count a win against India as an upset. We have done it before. They are a good team in the subcontinent. We have that in our mind… But we are not wary of them,” the 30-year-old said ahead of their Asia Cup opener against India on Wednesday.

Mortaza feels playing in front of home crowd would be a boost for them whereas the Indian team will have to make some adjustments as they played their last couple of series in fast and bouncy pitches of South Africa and New Zealand.

“They have been playing on different wickets in South Africa and New Zealand. They need to adjust to the subcontinent conditions… We will be having the support of the crowds and that will egg us on,” Mortaza said.

Mortaza quickly added that they would have to be at the top of their game to beat a world-class side like India. “They have a world-class batting line-up. Their recent performance in the subcontinent has been great. It won’t be an easy task and we have to play our best cricket. We beat them two years ago and we can beat them again.”

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 subcontinent wickets.

“He (Kohli) has won many matches for India and has proved his capability many times. But our focus will be on everyone. They have other good players too… The two openers are world class and can pose a threat.”

On their own form, Mortaza said: “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.       (PTI)