Advertisement

Mohammad Ashraful feels the pressure is on India and not Bangladesh

"If Sri Lanka can beat them, why not us?" says Bashar

Mohammad Ashraful
Bangladesh cricketer Mohammad Ashraful. (Photo by Ishara S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Former Bangladeshi batsman Mohammad Ashraful and captain Habibul Bashar have claimed that it would India who will feel greater pressure than Bangladesh as they are the defending champions and carry the weight of expectations of 1.3 billion people.

Habibul Bashar, who was part of Bangladesh’s historic win against India in the World Cup of 2007 in West Indies stated that having come all the way, the Bangladeshis wouldn’t want to miss out on a final spot. Even though Bangladesh have previously reached the finals of the Asia Cup, for Bangladesh, getting into the semi-finals of the mini World Cup is the biggest achievement for the short cricketing history of the side.

Advertisement

Mohammad Ashraful, who is currently serving a ban for 5 years from Bangladesh cricket due to involvement in match-fixing, hoped that his side would be able to clinch key wickets in the powerplay and apply pressure on the Indian batsman. He also added that the key member in the Indian side would be Hardik Pandya due to his destructive ability with the bat and his skills with the ball.

“We have previously reached Asia Cup final. But no doubt this is the biggest moment in the history of Bangladesh cricket. It’s like mini World Cup. India is the defending champions it’s no secret that they will be under more pressure. We have an experienced side and we need a team effort,” said Habibul Bashar according to Deccan Herald.

“We not only need early breakthroughs but will have to ensure that we keep striking. I’m a big fan of Rohit Sharma and his wicket will be the key, If Sri Lanka can beat them, why not us? From 33/4 we could win against the Kiwis. I’m sure they will give their best and the match will be a tough for both the teams” added Bashar

Pandya key for India: Ashraful

“We also posted 300-plus against England in our first match. We knew we had it in us to go all the way. If we can take three wickets inside the Powerplay, it will give us the momentum. Rubel and Taskin can bowl 140-plus and we should attack the Indian openers. A pace-bowling allrounder is something we are missing at the moment. To top it, Pandya’s ability as a finisher will put them ahead” said Mohammad Ashraful.

Bangladesh plays India tomorrow at Edgbaston, Birmingham, where India defeated their arch rivals Pakistan in the first match of the tournament. Bangladesh lost to India in the Asia Cup finals, World T20 2016 and quarterfinals of ICC World Cup 2015. Bangladesh won the bilateral series held in 2015 by a margin of 2-1.

Advertisement