Mortaza more concerned about team’s performance than conditions

"Everyone is excited to play in the World Cup, and is ready to perform in front of [the] big players"

“Everyone is excited to play in the World Cup, and is ready to perform in front of [the] big players”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza has announced that he is more concerned about the team’s performance in the World Cup than getting accustomed to the conditions.

Mortaza also noted that he wants the younger players to show off all their talent during the tournament.

“Condition is actually a mental issue, depending on how someone views it individually,” Mortaza said. “If a player wants to take the recent run-making in Australia positively, it might help him score runs when he goes there. Everyone is excited to play in the World Cup, and is ready to perform in front of [the] big players. The junior players have more energy to do well, they play without much baggage.

“We had Shakib, Tamim and Mushfiqur starring in 2007. Now we have the likes of Soumya (Sarkar), Bijoy (Anamul) and Mominul (Haque) among several others who are playing in their first World Cup. I am sure they are thinking along the same lines.

“There is a lot of expectation from many, but they are not saying it out loud. Maybe at the end of the World Cup, they will say that we should have reached further. There is no end to expectation, but if we do well, the hope about the team will keep increasing. Without thinking much about it, we should focus on playing well. We will feel better if we can do well in a global event.”

Mortaza also stated that he expects wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim, opener Tamim Iqbal and all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan to excel during the tournament.

“Shakib, Tamim and Mushfiqur have been performing for as long as they have been in the Bangladesh team,” he said. “Every player goes through good and bad patches. I also feel that it is their time and stage to do well. They will get more attention if they do well in the World Cup. They don’t have to take extra pressure, since this is not the end.

“I can speak of Mushfiqur among notable batsmen. He has the capability to stand toe-to-toe with the best batsmen in the world. He has done well for the past couple of years. Shakib can bowl well in any wicket, it doesn’t matter to him whether it spins or not. (Mahmudullah) Riyad is back in form.”

Mortaza has also called on all the members of the World Cup squad to play as a team instead of focussing on individual records.

“Whether someone wants to be in the top ten is their personal goal, but even if someone doesn’t make it in the top 20 and the team does well, that’ll matter more to me,” he said. “We will be happy if that happens, people will remember it forever and we will become part of history.

“There are a lot of ups and downs in performance so it might not help a player’s career if he is in the top ten. His form might dip in the six months after the World Cup, so I feel it is important for individual players to focus on the team.”

Meanwhile, Bangladesh head coach Chandika Hathurusingha revealed that he was pleased with the team’s preparation heading into the tournament.

“I am very happy with the talent that we have and the improvement we have shown in the last six months in terms of skill development as well as attitude and their commitment,” Hathurusingha said. “I was really pleased about what we did in practice in match scenarios. It gives us a lot of confidence. Players are also feeling good about their own game.

“I think in the Brisbane stint, as well as the four (practice) matches, it will give us a good indication about where we are. It’s all about getting used to the conditions and execute our plans. So those two matches in Brisbane are important.”

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