Bangladesh’s stand-in captain Shakib Al Hasan believes the forthcoming series against Pakistan offers them the best chance to do well against the former world champions.
Although the ace allrounder reckons Pakistan as a force to reckon with – despite them being in transition – he puts the Tigers ahead.
The vice-captain will lead Bangladesh in absence of Mashrafe Bin Mortaza in the first ODI at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Friday.
“So far this is our best opportunity to do well against Pakistan. We all have the confidence of doing well in the series,” Shakib told reporters at a pre-match press conference on Thursday.
The southpaw claimed the Tigers to be favourites ahead of the series.
“We are always under pressure, especially at home. I think, we are the favourites, our team is one that can beat Pakistan. We are capable of winning the series.”
“Winning is our goal. I don’t think anyone can win thinking – we have never won. We have to change that.”
Bangladesh last defeated Pakistan in the 1999 World Cup.
Shakib, however, is buoyed by the recent form of his teammates.
“The way everybody in the team is performing gives us confidence. We will get positive results if we maintain the consistency of the World Cup.”
Shakib, who has just returned from the IPL for national duties, also commended Pakistan’s bowling attack.
He warned the Tigers of their bowling unit and singled out Saeed Ajmal, who broke into the squad after passing ICC’s bowling action test.
But he has faith in Bangladesh’s batsmen.
“They’ve got world-class bowlers, no one can argue that. But we believe we have world-class batsmen as well and there will be a great contest between the bat and the ball in the series.”
“Ajmal will be playing after many days. Actually, we don’t know if this is the Ajmal we saw before.
“After something like this (bowling action remodelling) a bowler may not be as effective. On the contrary, (he) may return with better form.”
The Tigers are still haunted by a defeat by just two runs against Pakistan in the final of 2012 Asia Cup. The memory of the match stands out more than any other to Shakib.
“The memory of 2012 Asia Cup strikes (me) much more. (We) played two matches, could’ve won both. We were so close but couldn’t.”
Source: Bd news24