Bangladesh ODI captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza was aware of the risk inherent in looking to dominate the opposition as the result may not always go in their favour all the time, but the crushing 10-wicket defeat on Thursday will certainly send warning signals to the Tigers to remain on their toes ahead of the final of the tri-series against Sri Lanka today.
Sri Lanka completely outplayed the hosts, bowling them out for 82. When asked how difficult it will be to come back from the heavy defeat, Mashrafe said: “Very natural [that it is difficult], not even 24 hours have gone by and I have to come for the press conference again. There is nothing new to say as we already had a talk and even told the players the previous day that we did not want such a defeat. It's difficult to take the field what that mentality so the message was to remain positive.
“We will have the same mindset that we had in the first game [against Sri Lanka, which Bangladesh won by 163 runs] when we play the final and it's not that we have to think negatively after the defeat or that we will abandon our game plan,” Mashrafe told reporters after the training session at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
But despite the heavy defeat Mashrafe sees the positives as according to the inspirational skipper it will help them to remain more focused and he thought that tense situations sometimes bring out the best in the players.
“We will have to take the final like just another game but we have to make sure that we don't repeat the mistakes we made in the previous game and look to minimise those. The start will be very important whether we bat or bowl and if we are able to control the start the pressure will start to release,” he said.
The 34-year-old however informed that he always knew that Sri Lanka have the ability to make a comeback.
“They have a few players who played the World Cup final and you will expect from them that they can come back from any situation. We don't have that experience even after playing for 10-12 years. We have been able to take the home advantage in the previous three games and we will try to maximise that in the final,” Mashrafe said.
The opening slot remained the biggest concern for the Tigers after Anamul Haque was unable to utilise the opportunity in all four games, leading to the selectors including Imrul Kayes in the squad for the final. Although Mashrafe did not want to reveal the chances of including Imrul in the playing 11, there is a good chance that the team management will opt for more than two changes for the final.
Bangladesh have never won a tri-series and the Tigers have faced Sri Lanka once in a final back in 2009 at home when they were beaten by two wickets.
Bangladesh have featured in three tournament finals in Mirpur and have never won, and according to Mashrafe the Tigers will be eager to win this final.
“That was not on my mind... you should not have mentioned that [smiles]. Actually it's a new opportunity for everyone. Maybe only myself, Mushfiqur, Shakib and Tamim were part of those three finals, so it's a new opportunity for us as well,” Mashrafe added.