Wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim feels Bangladesh has the potential to make it to the knockout stage of the upcoming World Cup, and that the team is among the contenders to clinch the title.
“The one thing we believe that we are going to win not just for participating in the tournament. This is our belief, we hope you all do that too,” Mushfiqur was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
“I strongly believe that we have huge potential to make it to the knockout stages and anything can happen in the knockout stage. I don’t expect an easy game to win in the World Cup. In the World Cup, I will say that every team is strong, but what I believe is that Bangladesh are also one of the biggest contenders to get the World Cup. In the last few years, we suffered defeats in many finals. I have a belief that the almighty might have saved it to give us something big in this World Cup,” he added.
Bangladesh, who are currently placed 7th in the ICC ODI rankings, will go into the tournament with an experienced team comprising of Mashrafee bin Mortaza, Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, and Mushfiqur. All four of them will be featuring in their fourth World Cup, and the 31-year-old cricketer said that the team is more determined because it is probably the last time the experienced campaigners will share the pitch together.
“For Mashrafe bhai, it will be the last World Cup so there is no chance that we five altogether will play any global tournament afterwards. We are really determined to give Mashrafe Bhai a befitting farewell,” he said.
Seven cricketers – Liton Das, Mohammad Mithun, Mosaddek Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mehedi Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman, and Abu Jayed – will feature in their first World Cup, though most of them are regular members of Bangladesh’s ODI team. The wicket-keeper batsman also advised youngsters who are playing their maiden World Cup to give their 100 percent.
“If you look at our batting department we have a relatively experienced unit, but it’s not just about having the experience as you also have to execute that by performing,” he said.
Bangladesh had made it to the semi-finals of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy before losing to England. Keeping this in mind, Mushfiqur said, “I think the strike-rate is very important as it’s more important than how many runs you scored, or your average. We have lost to England in the Champions Trophy despite posting 320 which shows that we should have scored around 350-360 and our top-order batsmen are also taking this into account.”
Bangladesh will begin their World Cup campaign against South Africa on June 2.
Bangladesh squad for ICC World Cup 2019: Mashrafe Mortaza (C), Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan (VC), Soumya Sarkar, Liton Das, Sabbir Rahman, Mehidy Hasan, Mohammad Mithun, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mosaddek Hossain, Abu Jayed.