Asia Cup 2018: Every Team is a Threat for Us – Mashrafe Mortaza
Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza believes every team is going to be a threat for them in the upcoming Asia Cup 2018. The runners-up of the previous edition will begin their Asia Cup campaign against Sri Lanka on 15 September.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh has taken giant strides, especially in the white ball format in the last five years. They have been more competitive and have given a run for the money to the best teams. Bangladesh will play their second match of the tournament against Afghanistan on 20 September.
Mashrafe Mortaza is aware of other team’s strengths.
”I think every team is a threat for us,’‘ Mashrafe told reporters in the pre-match press conference after concluding the preparation for the upcoming tourney.
Mashrafe believes both Sri Lanka and Afghanistan have a potent side. In fact, Afghanistan had clean swept Bangladesh recently in the T20I series.
”If you look at the bowling strength of Afghanistan and all-around potency of the Sri Lankans, anything can happen. So for us the opening game is the most important,” he said. “If we can do well in the opening game we have a chance to progress further in the tournament.”
The Bangladesh skipper believes winning the opening match against Sri Lanka will set up the platform for them. Thus, they can grow in confidence to face against Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Rashid Khan.
”If we can win the opening match we are sure it will help us to handle Rashid and Mujeeb much better,” said Mashrafe.
”But if don’t do well in the opening game it will be even twice the more difficult to beat them so the first game will set the tone for us,” he said.
On the other hand, rookie head coach Steve Rhodes is of the different opinion as he said that Afghanistan spinners are not a big threat.
“I don’t think there’s a fear factor [as far as spinner are concerned],” said Rhodes. “We have finger spinners as role models in Shakib and Mehidy. As soon as we have wrist spinners as role models, then the youngsters then may start doing it in the streets.
It is going to be an interesting tournament as the six Asian teams will battle for glory. Meanwhile, Hong Kong is the sixth side in Asia Cup 2018 as they qualified after beating UAE in the Qualifiers final.
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