'Knock-outs are possible'
Shakib Al Hasan has said that it will be an achievement if Bangladesh makes it through to the knock out stages of the ICC T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka.
Shakib acknowledged the strength of the group that Banglaedsh have been placed in but said that on a given day, this Bangladeshi team can create upsets.
"If our players can play to their potential, we'll definitely do well," he said in an interview conducted by the ICC.
Having played in the Indian Premier League and several Twenty20 tournaments, Shakib believes that every ball bowled in T20 cricket can make a difference.
"It's really difficult to predict the most difficult team in this format of the game. It's a kind of game that can change in seconds," he added.
Echoing Shakib's views, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza stated that the team has improved by a huge degree in recent times.
"We have three world-class spinners and we have got a few good 'quicks' as well," he said. The pacer who has constantly battled injuries to stay in the team has been known to have a calming effect on the team's bowlers. "I don't have much of a personal goal. All I want to do is put in a match-winning performance for my team," he said.
Tamim Iqbal, who played for Wayamba United in the Sri Lankan Premier League, claimed that he had now developed a good understanding of the Sri Lankan conditions. "I think it (SLPL) has raised my confidence level and that of my teammates who played in the competition. We know what to expect. It was a well-run tournament (for me) and I am happy for the experience.
The dashing opener stated that the wicket in Pakelele would be evenly balanced.
"It is a very fine sporting wicket with a bit in it for everyone. If you get set then you can play your strokes. On the other hand it also keeps the bowlers interested," said Tamim.
Like his teammates, Tamim believes that Bangladesh's pre-World Cup tours have helped the team gel together and raise the overall confidence. "The team spirit is excellent and everyone is helping each other. If we can take that camaraderie on to the field and perform to the level we are capable of then I see no reason why we should not get our desired results," said Tamim.
"I believe I am much better prepared. I have played over 20 matches in this format during the last few months and I definitely have a fair idea of what is required," he added.
Bangladesh will play their first warm-up game against Zimbabwe today, at the Colts Cricket Ground in Colombo. They'll play their second warm-up game against Ireland on September 17.