CWC: Mortaza previews Asia derby against Afghanistan

Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Canberra: Here's what Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza has to say before starting their campaign in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 with Pool A game against Afghanistan:

Q. Mashrafe, what does it mean to you guys that you've never beaten Afghanistan?
MASHRAFE MORTAZA: We've played only one match, I think, 50 overs. Yes, we beat them in T20, but we've come to a 50 overs World Cup match. So, yes, we couldn't beat them in last Asia cup, but I don't think that it bothers us. Hopefully we'll do the best tomorrow.

Q. After the two warm-up losses, you said you didn't know how many of your players took the game seriously. After these few training sessions, what do you make of the mood in the camp?
MASHRAFE MORTAZA: See, I didn't mean that the boys haven't taken it very seriously. I told that yes, it's practice match. Some boys think about their preparations, so some lackings can become. But it's more important how guys are practicing, and how guys add up this kind of wicket. So it looks to me like it's very good the last two, three, four days practice has been very good. Hopefully bowlers add up to this week very well, and they'll give their best shot tomorrow.

Q. Talk about the kind of support that your team enjoys at home, the number of supporters that you guys have. Not many teams can match that support. Do you think you're justified with your play, the kind of support which you have, and how important that these big events like World Cup, again, there will be pressure on you from home to deliver.
MASHRAFE MORTAZA: Definitely. At home we've got a lot of support. It's always we like to play at home because a lot of crowds come, and it doesn't matter who we're playing against. But I think you guys will be surprised tomorrow, again, a lot of supporters will come. So we are looking forward to it, and hopefully the supporters will support us, and we'll try to play our best.

Q. Bangladesh have been playing Test Cricket for 15 years. You've been a member nation for a long time. Is it in some ways unfair that you're compared to Afghanistan after just one match? Because you've definitely achieved a lot over a long period of time compared to them. Is it unfair for you to be compared to them like this?
MASHRAFE MORTAZA: Um, I don't think so because comparisons can become. Anybody can do it. But it depends how we take it into mind. I think both have taken them very seriously because we respect them not for that they're beginners, we respect them all the country. So we've taken them very seriously as well, so we don't mind if someone compares them.

Q. Ireland has beaten West Indies, so is it inspiration or is it a pressure?
MASHRAFE MORTAZA: No, it's definitely a inspiration because somebody like Ireland in this kind of wicket that's showed them very well, but it is not pressure.

Q. You're a team that relies a lot on spinners, especially left arm spinners. But looking at these conditions what kind of attack will be best? Will it include a combination and someone like Sarkar or will you still rely on your spinners?
MASHRAFE MORTAZA: I think back home the wicket is favored of all the spinners so we rely on them, but we have some very good quicks. Yes, they're still young, but they have the potential and hopefully they'll do their job and still our spinners, I feel that they're world class and they can bowl any wicket.

Q. What goals has the team set itself for the tournament?
MASHRAFE MORTAZA: It is difficult to say right now. We'll go one by one. Hopefully if we can play with our potential, we'll go through. At the moment I think we'll take match by match.

Q. I think you're the only survivor of the Australia win in Cardiff. How have you seen Bangladesh cricket grow since then and is it a bit more realistic these days now?
MASHRAFE MORTAZA: Yes, that was in 2005, I think. That is a long time ago. After that we had to win so many matches. We had lost as well. So I think that is past basically, so we can't take confidence from there. It is something that on a particular day you have to play well, so hopefully we'll do it tomorrow.

Q. What do you remember actually?
MASHRAFE MORTAZA: I think that was a great moment for us, even the Bangladesh cricket, even for Bangladesh supporters because I think actually I had the best team at that time. We've been beaten us, like Ashe was a good hundred, and a lot of players played really well. So, yes, only I am surviving on this team from then. But as I said, yes, it is an expression, but it is a long time back still. So we can't think about it. We have to think positive and approach positive from tomorrow.
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