Update March 18, 2015

Dhaka 7-57 am, 27-November, 2020

Bangladesh can beat India

Sumel Sarker

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Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha.

18 March 2015, Nirapad News: Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha said India will face a defeat, if Bangladesh play their best in the ICC World Cup 4th quarters-final clash at Melbourne on Thursday.

As Mashrafe Mortaza and other members of his team give everything at practice sessions and plot the downfall of world champions India in what is likely to be their biggest challenge in the World Cup so far, Bangladesh head coach Chandika Hathurusingha believes that the side has now become comfortable in their skin.

The coach said the team would have to be at their very best while facing India.

“I think key is to play to our potential. The key towards beating an established side on a day, if we play to our potential and the established side does not measure up, we can beat them,” he said.

“For us, we have nothing to prove to anyone because we know that we are good. And that’s precisely the reason we are here. We are here to embrace the opportunity presented to us and enjoy the situation,” Hathurusingha of Sri Lankan origin said during a press conference in Melbourne, the venue of the quarterfinal contest.

The coach didn’t seem keen on elaborating much on India’s resurgence but was varying of their vastly-improving pace bowling unit.

“India are playing very good cricket. They are a good batting side. But the key has been how well their fast bowlers have bowled. That’s one area that we would probably keep an eye on,” Hathurusingha said.

The former Sri Lankan opener has undoubtedly made a world of difference to the confidence of this Bangladeshi side within 8 months alongside Heath Streak and Ruwan Kalpage. However, he wished not to comment about his wards taking inspiration from Bangladesh’s 2007 shock win over India at Port of Spain.

When questioned about what sets this team apart from the Bangladesh ones in the past, Hathurusingha had only a few words to say, “I can’t speak about past as I have not seen Bangladesh’s dressing rooms of earlier times. But this team believes in itself. I think we always talk about clear role for our players.

“The boys have been told to play with freedom. We are not afraid to make decisions in the middle and the culture we have created in the dressing room has also helped.”

According to him, Bangladesh’s recipe of success contains three simple ingredients. “The preparation was thorough. Not playing a lot of cricket in the lead up to the World Cup was a good thing as we reached Brisbane bit early to acclimatize to the Australian conditions. That was a key thing.

“Also we are peaking at the right time. All our key players are in form and there are lesser number of injuries. And the players are improving with every game.” He is of firm opinion that Bangladesh have now performed well enough to retain their Test status.

“For us, it’s all about how we can improve as a Test nation. In last few months, we have shown how much talent we have and how much we can improve. We have to try and do well in each game,” he said.

Hathurusingha has had massive experience in coaching Australian club sides in the past in grade cricket and he agrees that has assisted him in mentoring a relatively inexperienced Bangladesh outfit.

“It has massively helped. Knowing the conditions helped me prepare a team and also chalk out specific training for these conditions we would encounter. We changed a few techniques knowing limitations of sub-continental players,” he reasoned.

While the side has a specific “gameplan” for every opposition, Hathurusingha wants captain Mashrafe Mortaza to be more proactive and speedy in taking on-field decisions since that is likely to make a huge difference.

Melbourne is likely to see a few showers on Thursday but Hathurusingha doesn’t want to think about it.

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