Shakib expects lots of runs in Asia Cup
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan expects his team to do well in the upcoming Asia Cup. However, the all-rounder said he would be taking every match separately rather than putting any specific target for his team to achieve in the tournament. Shakib said these at a press conference in Mirpur on Saturday, ahead of the team's departure for Sri Lanka tomorrow.
Bangladesh start their Asia Cup campaign in Group B taking on Sri Lanka in Kandy on August 31, a day after the six-team tournament gets underway. The Tigers will then travel to Pakistan and will square off against the other team of the group, Afghanistan, in Lahore on September 3.
The top two teams of each group will progress to the Super 4 stage, with Group A featuring India, Pakistan and Nepal.
"With the squad we have and the kind of preparation we have taken, we should do well in the Asia Cup," Shakib said. "We want to go match by match, not set a specific target for ourselves. We will try to win every match if possible."
Coach Chandika Hathurusingha was more specific in his assessment of the team's target, though, saying his team's first target would be to cross the first-round hurdle.
Shakib also said he expects the matches to be high-scoring after having appeared for Galle Titans in the Lanka Premier League, where Towhid Hridoy and Shoriful Islam played also.
"The pitches there should produce a lot of runs, which is a good thing for the batters but also a challenge for them," Shakib said. "The pitches where we will play will be a bit different from the ones we played in the LPL, but overall the nature of the wickets will remain the same."
Both Shakib and Hathurusingha lamented the loss of pacer Ebadot Hossain to injury, with the coach saying, "Ebadot is probably the fastest of the five pacers that played in the last three series. His injury is a setback for us."