Just five days ago, even the body language of the Bangladesh national team told volumes of their downturn in form and questions were raised over whether the Tigers have the ability to recover from their recent series of disappointments.
However the matter changed drastically, following Bangladesh's record 215-run chase against Sri Lanka in a Nidahas Trophy encounter, as the demoralised cricketers regained their confidence.
After that, expectations once again rose high for Bangladesh to deliver but according to skipper Mahmudullah Riyad, the Tigers still have a long way to go and added that they will 'keep their feet on the ground' despite the historic victory when they take on India today.
“Playing in the final was always our goal and we said that even before coming on this tour. Our main aim was to play as many games we could and it's not like we have achieved everything after that win. We have our feet firmly on the ground and it's just the start. We have had a lot of question marks in our T20 cricket, so we are starting off from here. We want to play a Bangladeshi brand of cricket and there is a lot of room for improvement and we are working on it,” Mahmudullah told reporters ahead of a training session at the R Premadasa stadium in Colombo yesterday.
Rain may also once again be a big factor for the match with India today as it has rained every now and then in Colombo for the past two days. The Tigers were even forced to cancel their training on Monday due to the precipitation while yesterday's session was delayed. Mahmudullah added that it is more important for the team to prepare mentally than physically and that the team management are working on it.
Though the five-wicket win over Sri Lanka was magnificent, there are still concerns over Bangladesh's fast bowling department after the likes of Taskin Ahmed, Rubel Hossain and Mustafizur Rahman remained expensive but the captain backed his charges.
“A comment on the bowlers now will make things very hard for them. They did well in the first match which gave us some confidence; they couldn't apply the necessary skills in the second game. We have to consider the batting-friendly wickets that all the bowlers have been facing in this tournament. Our spinners Nazmul Islam and Mehedi Hasan Miraz bowled well in the previous game, where they managed to restrict boundaries for around 20 deliveries. I have belief on them,” he said.
The 32-year-old also spoke of the Indian bowling line-up, in particular two seamers -- Vijay Shankar and Shardul Thakur -- who shared five wickets between them against Sri Lanka on Monday. Thakur proved effective with his knuckle delivery to claim four wickets and remained instrumental alongside the other spinners.
“They made a lot of change of pace, especially their spinners. They found turn when they bowled it very slow. The pace bowlers have taken off the pace from the ball. We need to keep an eye on these things,” Mahmudullah informed.
The trend of the tournament seems to be that the team batting second is favoured on the batting friendly Premadasa pitch, therefore Mahmudullah also emphasised on the importance of the toss.
The Bangladesh captain also gave condolences to the victims of the US-Bangla plane crash and informed that the players will wear black armbands in homage to the departed souls.
“We were devastated when we first heard the news of the crash. The entire Bangladesh team is mourning the deaths of everyone who was onboard. We hope that God gives courage and patience to those who lost family members and relatives,” he concluded.