DHAKA : It is a must-win situation for Bangladesh as they face Sri Lanka tomorrow (Wednesday). A victory of any margin would put the Tigers in Friday's final. Bangladesh vice-captain Masrafe Bin Mortaza, debutant fast bowler Rubel Hossain and Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jawawardene gave their thoughts on the match during training today.
Whether the team was under the same kind of pressure captain Mohammad Ashraful spoke of after the 38-run defeat against Zimbabwe in the first match
There is pressure obviously when you play a big team like Sri Lanka but I hope that doesn't affect us tomorrow. It is like a final for us because we can only stay in the tournament if we win.
How Bangladesh would approach the game
We will stay positive. Sri Lanka are a top side but our survival depends on beating them. Positive cricket for us would be to do the right things and sticking to the game plan in all departments.
On the top-order batting woes
We have analysed our problems after the defeat to Zimbabwe. We have seen that a number of the batsmen have been getting out in the same manner repeatedly. Also, there is not enough support for someone who is well set and we would need a batsman or two to go on and play 50 overs.
Whether Bangladesh's problem was in ability
I don't think so. We have the ability and players have shown that they are capable of wonderful things. I think the problem is in the mind and we tend to lose focus every now and then.
On the criticism that Bangladesh can only win against big teams when conditions favour them on a given day and not through the skills of the players
That is a very unfair opinion. We have beaten teams in different conditions home and away. And to play good cricket we don't need a good day. We have pushed teams regularly but maybe haven't had the results. The players have given their all and we rejoice or feel disappointed in the same way fans do in regards to the success and failure of the Bangladesh team. I hope people realize that it is the players who win games through hard work and should support us.
For them Sanath (Jayasuriya), Mahela and Sangakkara in batting and Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis in bowling. Ashraful, Shakib and Mushfique have batted well in Tests in recent times. They need to take that game to the ODI tomorrow.
On his strengths as a fast bowler
I guess it is the pace.
Plans on debut
To bowl the best I can. The team management has told me to be my natural self and my target is to bowl in my natural style. I feel fit and strong and I am really excited. I haven't told my mother about my debut match yet. She'll be the happiest person when she sees me out there.
Whether he feels any pressure
Not really. I am not a person who feels pressure. I have played a lot of matches for the under 19s, the GP-BCB Academy and the A team and hopefully that experience would help.
Whether they are going to take the match softly
We never take any game softly. To us it is important to win every match we play and we always try to do that. We want our players to continue improving and get better all the time. We don't want any let ups.
Whether he thinks Bangladesh will be demoralized after the loss to Zimbabwe
I am sure they have had a few things to worry about because it was a game they were expected to win. I am also pretty certain that they would want to come out strong because this is a must-win match for them.
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Zunaed Siddique, Mohammad Ashraful (Captain), Roqibul Hassan, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (Wicketkeeper), Naeem Islam, Mahmud Ullah Riyad, Masrafe Bin Mortaza, Mahbubul Alam, Rubel Hossain. 12th Man: Mehrab Hossain Jr.
Sri Lanka (From): Sanath Jayasuriya, Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara (Wicketkeeper), Mahela Jayawardene (Captain), Angelo Mathews, Chamara Kapugedera, Jehan Mubarak, Farveez Maharoof, Nuwan Kulasekera, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis, Thilina Kandamby, Dilhara Fernando, Dhammika Prasad, Thilina Thushara Mirando