After a hectic home schedule of two and a half months, the Bangladesh national cricket team are travelling New Zealand for 3 ODIs, as many T20s and two tests. Prior to this, Bangladesh ODI and T20I skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza has addressed the media today at the National Cricket Stadium, Mirpur where he expressed his expectations to do well in a different and challenging Kiwi condition.
Mashrafe thinks an impressive home-season will guide his side to flourish abroad, “Last year, we played almost all matches at our home and by the grace of god we have won maximum of them. About two year ago, we had a target to win at least 80 percent of the matches. We have succeeded in achieving that thanks to the Almighty. Now it’s a different challenge to play abroad which is indeed a challenge for many established teams and for us it’s even more challenging. The New Zealand weather is different and more challenging than any other place like Australia and South Africa. However, the way we have played recent days, we can take the momentum I mean the memories of playing good cricket and confidence we have gathered playing here in our national side. If we can utilize it, hopefully something better is waiting.”
While accepting the fact that it is not easy to play in away conditions, Mashrafe hopes for the best, “Actually any team, whatever it is a good or rising one, win maximum matches at home and winning abroad is tougher for any side. As like playing at New Zealand is difficult for us, it is not easy for them to play here. Anyway, we will try to win as much matches as we can.”
“The situation will be new for us. However, we have a different mindset now which is to win anywhere and there is an expectation from people too. However, it will not be an easy thing to do. But we will try our best to do well.”
“Basically, we will be working out on the technical details of how to bowl or bat in those conditions and also try to review the conditions over there. Honestly speaking I think all the three departments over there will be challenging. The wickets over there can offer 350 runs. We need to adjust to that.”
“The biggest challenge will be to adjust to the wind. The faster we can adjust to all of this, the better. At home, even if we do a mistake, we are able to recover. I don’t think we will get that opportunity over there,” he added.
Before going to New Zealand, the Tigers will be spending around two weeks in Australia to get prepared for the series. Mashrafe thinks the initiative will help his side a lot, “The entire national team will be living there together. We will live like a family and we will have the liberty to openly discuss our problems which will make things . It has worked before. For example, the 15-day camp we had in Australia before the World Cup in 2015 helped us a lot. The camps we had in Khulna and Chittagong before the World T20 helped us overcome the first round of the ICC World Twenty20. That round was dangerous,” explained Mashrafe.
Two key pacers of the Tigers’ side, Mohammad Shahid and Shafiul Islam, have got injured during the BPL T20. Mashrafe agrees that it may cost his side, “Injuries are always bad for a team or any particular player. We do not have enough replacement for our key players. Therefore, injuries of our top performers definitely affect us. Nevertheless, our pipeline is growing well and we need some time to reach a level from here.”
Mashrafe said it is not an easy job for any side to beat New Zealand in their conditions, albeit he believes if his side plays well then anything is possible.