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We have to play with self-belief - Marshafe Mortaza

We have to play with self-belief - Marshafe Mortaza
Marshafe Mortaza, urged his players to play with self-belief instead of fearing an opposition like South Africa, in their upcoming home series which begins on Sunday in Mirpur.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Bangladesh captain Marshafe Mortaza has urged his players to play with self-belief instead of fearing an opposition like South Africa, in their upcoming home series which begins on Sunday in Mirpur.

Riding high on the One-Day International series victory against India, Bangladesh will be a confident unit, especially in the limited overs format.

Mortaza was confident that his players will do well against a quality opposition like South Africa, if they play together as a team, while showing consistency in the performance.

“South Africa have a number of players who can single-handedly win them a T20," he said.

“We don't have many such players but if we can play as a team and maintain our consistency, we will do well.

“We have to play with guts. T20 is a game of courage. We have only one option: to play with self-belief.

“It would be better to sit at home if we are fearing them. It can happen so in that case we should keep that off the field.”

Bangladesh’s excellent showing in the series against India took them to the seventh spot in the ODI rankings, however, they languish in the ninth position in the shortest format.

Mortaza believes the series victory against India will not count for much in the upcoming series against South Africa, while stressing the need to perform on that particular day.

“What happened in the past will certainly not be of any help. What we did in the last series won't come to use either.

“On the day, we have to start and finish well. If we are consistent, it will give us confidence.”

In T20Is, Bangladesh have won just 12 out of the 42 games they have played so far with a win-loss ratio of 0.413.

Acknowledging their ordinary T20I record, Mortaza agreed that South Africa had better players in their ranks, but was of the notion that Bangladesh can overcome that deficit by performing well in the middle.

“We don't have a good record and we play very few T20s. We have only one experienced T20 player and that's Shakib (Al Hasan).

“They have 8-10 players who regularly play T20s across the world. They are ahead of us in that regard.

“But it is only a piece of statistics. It will be a different game altogether when we play well in the middle.”

Historically, Bangladesh have been dependent on spinners to do well, but in the last couple of months, their pace bowlers have begun to show immense promise for the future.

Mustafizur Rahman had a dream debut in the ODI series against India wherein he picked up 13 wickets in three games at an excellent average of 11.53.

Mortaza aims to achieve the right combination of bowlers when his team takes to the field to ensure that he gets the balance right in the conditions.

"We have been reliant on spin for around 10-15 years but since the Zimbabwe series, we have been getting positives out of using three pace bowlers in the XI.

“Spin is still our strength but pacers are also contributing in a big way. We have to ensure our best possible combination is out in the field."

Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha sounded very excited at the way the team are playing their cricket as he predicted good times ahead.

"I think it is an exciting time for Bangladesh. I mean it is always good to win but the way we are playing and winning is more exciting.”

Bangladesh will play two T20I matches on 5th and 7th July before playing a three-match ODI series and two Test matches between 10th July and 3rd August.

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