Bangladesh play down idea of Asia Cup serving as ODI World Cup preparation event
Shakib Al Hasan emphasized the importance of focusing on the present rather than looking too far ahead to the ODI World Cup
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Bangladesh's newly appointed ODI captain, Shakib Al Hasan, has emphasized the importance of focusing on the present rather than looking far ahead to the ODI World Cup. Speaking alongside the team's head coach, Chandika Hathurusingha, Shakib stated that currently, their main goal would be to make it to the 'Super 4s' of the upcoming Asia Cup 2023.
According to the ace all-rounder, the Asia Cup and the World Cup are two separate tournaments, and success in one does not guarantee success at the grandest stage. He believes that if the team performs well in the upcoming inter-continental tournament, it will help them to develop as a strong unit heading into the World Cup. However, he also stressed that a poor performance in the Asia Cup does not mean they have no chance in the mega showdown.
"You cannot think of the World Cup with the Asia Cup because they are two different tournaments. Yes if we can do well and develop as a good team in Asia Cup, in that case, we have a good chance to do well in the World Cup and from that point of view Asia Cup is important, now we are thinking only about Asia Cup and more precisely we are only thinking about Afghanistan, Sri Lanka game," Shakib was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
There are big challenges, but we are up for it: Hathurusingha
Furthermore, Shakib Al Hasan added that the team's entire plan and preparation will revolve around the Asia Cup, and they will take one tournament at a time. In the same vein, coach Hathurusingha echoed Shakib's sentiments, emphasizing the team's aim to qualify for the second round of the Asia Cup. He acknowledged the challenges posed by Sri Lanka and Afghanistan but expressed confidence in his team's ability to overcome them.
"There are big challenges, but we are up for it," Hathurusingha stated.
The team recognizes the strength of Sri Lanka, especially when playing at home, and is prepared for a tough match. Similarly, they are aware of Afghanistan's recent success and are ready to face them. Both Shakib and Hathurusingha expressed satisfaction with the team's preparation leading up to the Asia Cup. They highlighted the players' fitness and medical assessments, skill development, tactical training, and individual work on their roles within the team.
However, they also expressed disappointment over the injury of fast bowler Ebadot Hossain, considering him an important part of the team. They addressed concerns about Litton Kumar Das' recent lack of form, with Hathurusingha explaining that his performance in T20 tournaments in Canada and Sri Lanka should not be a cause for concern, as the pitches were not conducive to high scores.