Tuesday 10 April 2007 

Confident Bangladesh Aim to Restore Consistency

Bangladesh want to continue their good work on the field and is not looking any further than the all important clash against England. Bangladesh is also aiming to reduce the margin of errors in a bid to achieve their first ever win against three times runners up England in Barbados.

Bangladesh is keen to re-establish the consistency in performance they achieved over the last 12 months leading to World Cup Cricket. Although over the period, Bangladesh consistently won against the lesser oppositions like Zimbabwe and Kenya, after recent domination over India and South Africa, Bangladesh want to repeat similar consistency against the big guns.

Bangladesh Captain Habibul Bashar is also setting consistent performance as the first target and wants to use the momentum gained after South Africa win to topple England for the first time in their cricket history.

"Definitely we need to play consistent as well. We don't want to play one good game and then play three bad games. But the South Africa win has increased the confidence and morale in the team" said Bashar in his column in Bangla daily "Prothom Alo".

On paper, England is a much better outfit compared to Bangladesh but has failed to perform as a team in the current World Cup. Bangladesh have played better than England and surprisingly the collective ODI experience of the squad is well ahead of England. In this World Cup, Bangladesh have already won two important games against India and South Africa, England is yet to win a match against any test playing nations.

England is not enjoying their best time in ODI cricket for about a year and half. Apart from the heroics in the Commonwealth Bank Series, England’s performance is well below par. England last played Bangladesh in 2005 Natwest trophy at home and most members of the Bangladesh youth brigade is quite unknown to them.

The youthful Bangladesh side, which has won more ODIs than England over the last 12 months and after their complete domination against South Africa in Guyana, are bubbling in confidence and want to surprise England in the similar manner like India and South Africa, co-incidentally who also had no idea about most players of current Bangladesh side.

Both teams are on 2 points each after three Super 8 matches and to keep the tournament alive both side has no alternative but to win all the remaining matches. After facing the likes of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, Bangladesh is ready to take on oppositions who are deemed weaker in the remaining three matches. Bangladesh is yet to win a match against England and is keen to turn the table around with self-belief, aggression and enthusiasm injected into the team after toppling top ranked South Africa.

Bangladesh enjoyed familiar conditions in Guyana and traditionally Barbados wickets are livelier. Bangladesh coach Dav Whatmore believes a change in wicket type will not make any difference in the performance of the Tigers. He was also happy to see the lack of green on the surface.

“We’ve had a little look. The color is nice to look at, not too much grass on it. But there is grass underneath the surface and I think that will hold it together. It’s the first time they are going to play a one-day international here so we are not entirely sure how it’s going to behave but I think it’s going to be okay” said Whatmore in an interview with Tigercricket.

Bangladesh has delayed naming the squad for tomorrows clash and will be waiting to see the nature of the wicket in the morning before declaring the playing XI. It is highly anticipated that vice-captain Shahriar Nafees who was dropped for poor form, will return for Bangladesh.

England (from): M Vaughan (capt), I Bell, A Strauss, K Pietersen, P Collingwood, A Flintoff, R Bopara, P Nixon (wkt), S Mahmood, M Panesar, J Anderson, E Joyce, L Plunkett, J Dalrymple, S Broad.

Bangladesh (from): Habibul Bashar (capt), Javed Omar, Tamim Iqbal, Aftab Ahmed, Mohammad Ashraful, Saqibul Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (wkt) Mashrafe bin Mortaza, Mohammad Rafique, Abdur Razzak, Syed Rasel, Shahriar Nafees, Farhad Reza, Rajin Saleh, Shahadat Hossain.

Umpires: S Taufel (Australia), S Bucknor (West Indies)

© Khondaker Mirazur Rahman
Bangladesh Editor

More from Cricket World