Bangladesh are not having the best possible beginning to their World Cup preparations with two defeats in the first two ODIs against New Zealand. The mentality of the side remained an unfathomable entity after the two heavy defeats and while captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza was aware of the task of getting some confidence back, he was also keen on the mind game factor, not willing to perhaps show the side’s true strength to World Cup opponents New Zealand in the ongoing series.
Top-order debacle is a regular event for the Tigers and it certainly hit them hard in the seaming conditions of New Zealand in this series. Last time in New Zealand, they were able to put up a better fight even though they lost the ODI series 3-0. Then they went on to win against the Kiwis in Ireland before the memorable victory in Cardiff in the Champions Trophy.
So even amidst the batting debacle and bowlers not being able to come up with breakthroughs, Mashrafe said that it was important to keep the ace in their hand.
“Obviously,” he answered when asked if there was much that he wanted his side to keep hidden. “If you look at the series in Ireland last time out, we won matches there against New Zealand. Going into the Champions Trophy, we beat them again. Obviously it was a nice feeling,” he added.
Mashrafe and co. were perhaps looking to have that element of surprise up their sleeve. The partnership between Mahmudullah Riyad and Shakib Al Hasan during the Champions Trophy was something otherworldly and definitely not something that the Kiwis perhaps expected. The art of battle is to keep ones true strength somewhat hidden for more important battles in the future. Mashrafe reiterated that it had happened previously as well, when they lost at New Zealand but beat them elsewhere.
“We want to do things the same way [from last time]. It is going to be difficult. Its not going to be easy,” he said about bouncing back from defeats at New Zealand to show capabilities in a major tournament. Tigers will face New Zealand early in the World Cup and there was a possibility that Mashrafe just wanted to keep the Kiwis guessing. But an avid fan will know that the Tigers can fare better than they have so far in the series. The World Cup is exciting because teams do not experiment much but look to bring their strengths to the major tournament.
The Tigers skipper wanted his side to put on a better show in the third ODI before they can focus on gauging their own strengths before the World Cup in May.
“The good thing is that the wicket will be very good so hopefully we will play well here tomorrow,” he concluded.
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