Last time the Tigers played Pakistan in ODIs, they inflicted a 3-0 series whitewash to their Asian rivals. However, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza reiterated that Pakistan, who won the Champions Trophy last year are a much-improved side from when they last faced Bangladesh.
Bangladesh face Pakistan in a virtual semifinal match today with the winner going through to the final to play India. While Pakistan has had an average tournament so far, winning only against Hong Kong and Afghanistan, their unpredictability and overall quality will be a challenge for the Bangladesh team.
"This Pakistan is better than the side we faced before. Hasan Ali and Shadab were not there then. They have a good bowling attack and batting too," said Mashrafe.
In their last Asia Cup encounter against Pakistan, Bangladesh faced bitter defeat even after posting 326 on the board batting first as Shahid Afridi took the game away from the Tigers. Bangladesh however have more variety in their armory too. In that match Bangladesh had to rely on Al Amin and Shafiul Islam as strike bowlers, but this time with the likes of Mustafizur Rahman, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Rubel Hossain and Nazmul Islam Apu available to them, they will like to perform better with the ball.
India beat Pakistan quite comfortably in both the games where the arch-rivals faced each other during the Asia Cup 2018. However Pakistan have an ability to bounce bak as was the case in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy -- Pakistan lost to India in the group game but defeated their rivals by a big margin of 180 runs in the tournament's final.
Mashrafe reiterated that while Pakistan are a good side, the Tigers can play their own game and perform too.
"We cannot judge them solely on their matches against India. As a team they have played really well quite recently. However just because they are good does not mean that we won't be able to play well. It's not like that," he concluded.