Bangladesh’s Asia Cup campaign hangs in the balance after their defeat to India in the first Super Four match. They lost to Afghanistan as well in the last group phase match and will face them today, seeking to win and stay in the competition. Tigers still have a chance to make it to the final of the Asia Cup and their vice-captain Shakib Al Hasan believed that his team has the ability to turn things around and overcome their conquerors from the group stage.
“Since we have been in situations like this before and also successfully overcame them, I believe that we have the ability to do that now,” Shakib said.
Bangladesh were bamboozled by Afghanistan in the first match with Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi putting in fine performances. Shakib talked about playing their natural game and reiterated that there will be an opportunity to do that.
“We have to try and play the cricket we are used to playing. Of course it won’t be easy to play the natural game in this situation, but even then I don’t think we are in any situation that that cannot happen.”
Bangladesh can draw on their previous turnaround experiences from the last three years to find inspiration to keep their Asia Cup hopes alive. There have been instances where Tigers were staring at the bottom of the barrel before but experienced players were able to turn thing around with key performances.
In the 2015 World Cup, they overcame a 92-run loss to Sri Lanka to beat England by 15 runs in a scintillating win to make it to the quarterfinals. Then in the same year, they beat mighty South Africa 2-1 in the home series, turning things around after a massive eight-wicket defeat in the first match of the series.
They reached the semifinals of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy by turning things around in a tremendous fashion. A lucky point gained against Australia in a no-result match kept their hopes alive in the tournament but then they fought back from a calamitous position against New Zealand to make it to the make it to the semifinal at the expense of both the Kiwis and the Aussies. Mahmudullah Riyad and Shakib’s bat talked that day after Tigers were four down for 33 runs in 12 overs, chasing a target of 266. Both struck tons and combined in a 214-run partnership to see Tigers seal an epic win.
Shakib and Mahmudullah had said that after losing so many wickets that day, that they were just looking to stay at the crease. Keeping things simple. Speaking yesterday, Tigers’ vice-captain spoke about doing the simple things well and having confidence in their own ability when they play Afghanistan.
“I don’t think we should be thinking about who we are playing against. If we can keep our side of things okay, on our day we feel that we have the ability to beat any team in the world, especially in ODIs.”
They can also draw on their most recent experience, coming back to win the ODI and T20 series in West Indies after losing the Test serious in disastrous manner.