Mashrafe focuses on to good start in WC opener...

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Mashrafe focuses on to good start in WC opener

 Sports Desk

 Published: 10:53 PM, 1 June 2019   Updated: 10:55 PM, 1 June 2019

File Photo

File Photo

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza stressed on the needs to start a fresh, forgetting what they did in the past as he wants his colleagues to focus on playing well on the match day instead of thinking about the past history.

The Tigers have beaten every side in the competition over the last couple of years, raising the bar for them but for a change, Mashrafe now didn’t want to give it a thought as his sides are gearing up for the first match against South Africa, to be held on Sunday at The Oval. The match starts at 3.30PM BST.

“It’s a new format, which is very difficult, what I feel, because even the positive sign, even if you lost, there is a chance to come back, as well. So I’m thinking both ways,” he said in the pre-match conference on Saturday at The Oval.

“But important is taking one match at a time and play hard and let’s see. That’s the way I think — that’s the best way I think we should move, and tomorrow, I’m pretty much confident my side will give our best shot.”

“Obviously the result matter for me; what matters is how much effort we are putting in and what we expect from our players that make sure you give your 100 per cent till the last bowl.”

He added that they have full belief on the ability of their squad members despite doubts were raised by others at several junctures of their career.

”Look, we don’t have to think about what going on outside, which is important that we have our own belief on that people,” he said.

South Africa have already played a game in the competition, losing to England by 104 runs. It is believed there will be a lot of pressure on the Proteas but Mashrafe didn’t want to take anything granted.

He said they have to play well to beat South Africa, a team against whom their record is not pretty good.

Bangladesh just won three matches against South Africa in 20 encounters. They were whitewashed by the South African in a three-match ODI series last they faced them off in 2017.

“I don’t see it that way. People start, they already played one match and they lost already, so they thought they are under pressure, which isn’t going to work. As long as we don’t deliver our best shot,” Mashrafe said.

“But we are worried about — not worried, actually. We are thinking about our process that how can we process right and make sure we give our 100 per cent on the ground, and do what we can do.,” he added.

“But that’s going to help us, rather than thinking about the South Africans’ mentality and how they are feeling on the ground. Obviously if we can put them under pressure, then it will be a different ballgame. But they will come hard, for sure, and we have to make sure we come hard, as well.”

While Tamim Iqbal’s availability in the match against South Africa looked uncertain following his wrist injury, Mashrafe said that Tamim Iqbal will take the final call about his availability.

According to BCB officials, Tamim had a precautionary x-ray which showed no fracture. He will have further test ahead of the match day to assess his availability for Bangladesh’s opening encounter.

”I think he had a fitness test. He already on the ground with physio. So I think physio will give a final — actually not physio. Tamim will give a final call how he’s feeling because all depends on Tamim. I know specifically players understand himself and how that will go tomorrow. I think Tamim will give us a final call,” Mashrafe said.