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Team India are under more pressure than us, says Mashrafe Mortaza

As quantum of expectation is manifold from India which has a huge cricket following

Press Trust of India  |  Birmingham 

Mashrafe Mortaza, Bangladesh, Captain
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza attends a press conference ahead of their ICC Champions Trophy semifinal match between India and Bangladesh and at Edgbaston in Birmingham, England.

captain admitted that there will be on his side ahead of their maiden semi-final appearance in a global event but quantum of expectation is manifold from which has a huge cricket following.

"Yes, we are playing in the semi-final and it is a game. But if we are under then I think are under more compared to us because of their huge population and the love for the game among common public," Mortaza said at the pre-match press conference.


"Both teams face of expectations. But at the end of the day, it's a game of cricket, so whoever plays well, they will win. I just told the players if you take it as 'the semi-final', the will be going very hard, but if you think it's just another match the will ease off," he added.

The skipper agreed that there is hype around the match but didn't want to classify it as the biggest match in Bangladesh's cricket history.

"I have been answering that question since 2015 World Cup. Obviously, there is a big hype. Being among top-eight and in the semi-final is big thing. But I am not sure if this is the biggest match or not."

Asked what has been the catalyst in Bangladesh's transformation as a potent ODI side, Mortaza said: "Beating England in 2015 World Cup and then giving New Zealand a tough fight were the high points.

"Then we beat Pakistan, and South Africa at home. In last two years, we have managed to play with some sort of freedom. That is as much as you can do in the middle. Players feeling more secured about their places in the side. These things do help."

Bangladeshi media's favourite topic has been all about the encounter being a "grudge match" and how their beloved "Tigers" will be exacting revenge.

Mashrafe, however, played it down.

"Not necessarily (that it has to be a grudge match)! I know it could have been any opposition. So I don't have to think that since it's India, it's a grudge match. We will play just another match. Hopefully if we can soak in the and play good cricket," he said.

"After World Cup 2015, we have played, I think — two T20s and three ODIs. We have obviously forgotten it. It has been 24 months and exactly like what Virat had said, tomorrow is going to be a new match."

More than 2015 World Cup, Mortaza made it clear that one-run defeat in the World T20 game against in Bangalore hurt them more. But now they have moved on.

"Obviously, we have been disappointed, especially in World T20. We couldn't get 2 runs from 3 balls when two of our best batsmen (Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim) were at the crease," he said.

"It happens sometimes in cricket, but we need to forget it and move on. We can't invite extra on ourselves thinking about what happened during the last two matches in ICC tournaments," he concluded.

First Published: Wed, June 14 2017. 22:05 IST
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