Before the start of the tournament Bangladesh players had been saying that their target was to win the Asia Cup with captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza getting the players together and telling them during session that the team was not going to the UAE just to make up the numbers.
Mushfiqur Rahim, who has been Tigers’ saviour in more than one occasion in this tournament knows a thing or two about playing pressure matches against one of their biggest Asian rivals India, who have a certain mental edge over Bangladesh having beaten the Tigers in a closely-fought contest recently in the Nidahas Trophy final where Dinesh Karthik hit a six off the very last ball to clinch the three-nation tournament’s final. Mushfiqur, having played many tight contests against India can gauge the level of pressure that accompanies crucial encounters like finals and knows that putting pressure on opposition players who are also ‘human beings’ can and will work to Bangladesh’s advantage.
“Confidence is there although we haven’t played our best yet, I feel, in the three departments.
“We have been struggling in the batting group in the top order. If we click there against India [it could make a difference] – and you know India are playing outstanding cricket in this tournament, but they are also human beings and they are bound to make mistakes,” he said.
After yesterday’s victory in the do-or-die in virtual semifinal game, Tigers are once again just a step away from realizing their dreams, having twice made the final in the last three editions of the tournament. The Asia Cup dream is once again possible and Tigers’ batsman Mushfiqur reiterated that they have been working on their goal of reaching the final first.
“Of course it is possible [winning the Asia Cup] . People live in dream and hope. And this was our target before the Asia Cup, that we at least make the final. Then in the championship match if we play our best cricket, then what will happen will happen. Since we have worked this hard and come this far, we of course have a chance.”
Tigers were outplayed by India in the last edition of the tournament which was a T20 tournament. However, Mushfiqur said that since Bangladesh have been able to win against India before, the task in front of them is not impossible.
“If we can play our best cricket, then beating India is not impossible – we’ve done it before. Maybe we have not done it as consistently as we would have liked,” he concluded.