Challenge for Kohli-led India sans Dhoni | Raina excluded, Pujara included | Hard work has paid off: Karthik | Series Schedule | Special: Asia Cup
On Tuesday, Bangladeshi fast-bowler Mashrafe Mortaza in an interview said that beating the Indian cricket team is no longer considered as an “upset”, as the hosts have managed to defeat India on a couple of occasions, which includes the defeat 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 sub-continent. We have that in our mind,” he said ahead of their Asia Cup opener against India on Wednesday.
The 30-year-old feels that the home crowd will be an advantage for Bangladesh, and the Indian team will need time to adjust to the sub-continental conditions again, as they have recently played in South Africa and New Zealand.
“They have been playing on different wickets in South Africa and New Zealand. 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.”
The fast bowler also added that Bangladesh will need to be at the top of their game, if they are to beat a team of India’s stature.
“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 (Wednesday).”
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.”
“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.
After having lost the ODI series against Sri Lanka with a 3-0 margin, Mortaza feels that the team needs to recover quickly and 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.
“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.
“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.”