Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza seeks all-round performance against India
Melbourne, March 18 (IANS) Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza is not overawed by the occasion or the stage for their Cricket World Cup quarter-finals clash against defending champions India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) here on Wednesday. Medium pacer Mortaza stressed on being efficient in all aspects of the game against a strong Indian line-up but felt this would be a great test for his bowlers, who would have to counter India's batting might.
"Tomorrow it could be a high scoring match. We have to bowl well definitely," Mortaza said. "It will be a big challenge to bowl against the strong Indian batsmen. Apart from the bowling, we need to bat well as well since their bowling has been good in this tournament."
Talking about his team's energy ahead of the big game, Mortaza said, "We feel very proud. It is going to be a very exciting match for us. The boys are very relaxed. Hopefully, they will give it their best shot tomorrow."
Mortaza praises Bangladesh supporters
If Bangladesh do manage to create an upset, then it would be the biggest chapter in Bangladesh's cricket history and a fitting reward to their loyal supporters who have thronged cricket stadiums to support their team.
The Bangladesh captain had a few words of appreciation for the Bangladesh fans.
"In the last 15 or 17 years they have been always with us. Even if we have lost matches, they have come to the grounds and supported us,” he said.
"We have supporters in Australia as well and it will be good to see them come to the MCG tomorrow as well," Mortaza said.
There is no end to one’s dreams: Mortaza
Bangladesh went on a topsy-turvy ride this World Cup. They won against Afghanistan, shared a point with Australia owing to a rain affected match, lost against Sri Lanka but backed it up with two consecutive wins against Scotland and England. They stretched New Zealand in a nail-biting encounter losing by three wickets.
Playing the quarter final of a World Cup is like a dream come true for Bangladesh, believed Mortaza.
"It is true that it is a dream that we are all living but we need to realise there is no end to one's dreams. At the start of the tournament, our aim was to qualify for the second round and now we want to make it to the semi-finals. We will concentrate on what is in our hands and that is our match against India."
India has one of the best batting line-ups in the world: Mortaza
The captain also stressed on doing the basics right and continuing to play the brand of cricket they have been playing so far.
"Our focus is to play the way we have until now. We need to do well as a team in all three departments of the game," Mortaza said.
"We need to implement things to our benefit like we did in the last few matches since that approach got us a lot of successes. If we execute our plans well, we can do well. We will try our best to perform tomorrow."
When asked about the importance of the toss or a good target against India, Mortaza said: "The toss won't matter and affect team compositions. As far as a good total at the MCG is concerned, I don't know what a good target is against this Indian team."
"They have one of the best batting line-ups in the world and are good chasers. If we play well we can defend a score of 270 or 280. We have no reasons to fear India. They have the momentum, but we are hoping to do things correctly and play well," said the 31-year-old.