Mashrafe Mortaza feels impressive home season will help them in New Zealand
Updated - Dec 9, 2016 5:24 pm
The Bangladesh cricket team is all set to travel to New Zealand for a series comprising 3 ODIs, 3T20s and 2 Tests after completing a hectic and gruelling two and half months home summer. Before leaving for New Zealand, Bangladesh’s limited-overs captain Mashrafe Mortaza was confident that his team will do well in different and challenging conditions in New Zealand.
The veteran medium pacer felt that their impressive home season will help them 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 years 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 playing 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.” Mashrafe said.
Accepting the fact that it is not easy to adapt to foreign conditions, Mortaza 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 in New Zealand is difficult for us, it is not easy for them to play here. Anyway, we will try to win as many 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 prepare 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,” said Mashrafe.
He agreed that the absence of two pacers, Mohammad Shahid and Shafiul Islam who got injured during the BPL might 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 to our top performers definitely affect us. Nevertheless, our pipeline is growing well and we need some time to reach a level from here.”
Though Mashrafe agreed that it was a pretty demanding task to beat the Kiwis in their own den, he believes that if his side plays well they can do it.
Earlier today, Bangladesh Cricket Board announced that the opening batsman Mehedi Hasan Maruf has been included in the Bangladesh squad for the preparation camp in Sydney, Australia and the Tour of New Zealand 2016. Maruf scored 347 runs in BPL this season and is the sixth highest run-scorer. He also hit the most number of sixes(20) in the tournament.
Squad: Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Mominul Haque, Mahmud Ullah, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shabbir Rahaman, Soumya Sarker, Mosaddek Hossain Saikot, Nurul Hassan Sohan, Mehedi Hasan Miraj, Shuvagata Hom, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Taijul Islam, Masrafe Bin Mortaza, Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed, Shuvashish Roy, Ebadat Hossain, Tanbir Haydar, Rubel Hossain, Kamrul Islam Rabbi, Mehedi Hasan Maruf