Mashrafee plays down Twenty20 expectations

April 24, 2015

The euphoria over the one-day international series sweep is yet to be over, but Bangladesh need to turn their attention quickly in Twenty20 format as they face Pakistan in the one-off series in Mirpur today. The day-night match will start at 6:30pm with Pakistan beginning as somewhat favourites despite a 0-3 mauling in the just-concluded one-day series.Bangladesh have not played a Twenty20 international for more than year since the country hosted ICC World Twenty20 in March 2014.
Beaten by Hong Kong in the preliminary stage, Bangladesh also put a dismal performance in the second round when they lost all their four matches.
Five consecutive defeats on home soil would indicate that the Tigers have miles to go if they are to become a force to be reckoned with in the Twenty20 format.
Keeping that record in mind, Bangladesh captain Mashrafee bin Murtaza also preferred a realistic approach in today’s game.
They had justified their status as favourites in the one-day series, but Mashrafee admitted that their orientation with the Twenty20 format is yet to be completed.
Mashrafee took his pre-match press conference as an opportunity to remind people of their shortcomings, indicating that they will be happy taking a defensive approach, despite beaming with confidence.
‘The way we are playing at the moment we can always win the game,’ said Mashrafee. ‘But honestly, there are lots of limitations as far as a Twenty20 team is concerned.’
‘Like a big hitter at number seven or eight or some bowlers of Sakib [al Hasan]’s quality.
‘Twenty20 is a different format and we are yet to become a side of repute in it.’
Mashrafee insisted that their lack of match practice is one of the major reasons for them lagging behind in this format.
Since the World Twenty20 they were scheduled to play just one Twenty20 game but that game against West Indies was rained off last year.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board also did not host any Twenty20 tournament since December 2013, meaning the Tigers will have to rely on their one-day form to turn their Twenty20 fortune.
‘We don’t have the chance to play a lot of Twenty20 cricket,’ said Mashrafee.
‘Though we play 50-over match or four day games we don’t have that many matches in this format,’ he said.
‘There is lack of practice opportunity. We don’t have one or two specialist Twenty20 players,’ he said, hoping that today’s match will be a kind of launching pad for the side.
‘We have to concentrate on making a start,’ he said. ‘If we have the chance then we might be a side to reckon with, but till now, we are yet unworthy of being called a capable Twenty20 side.’

-With New Age input

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