15 May 2024, 19:11

We can beat any team if we play well on given day: Shanto

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DHAKA, May 15, 2024 (BSS) - Bangladesh captain Najmul Hossain Shanto believes his team is capable of beating any team if they can perform to their true ability in the upcoming T20 World Cup. 
The Tigers are drawn in a strong group which featured teams like Sri Lanka, South Africa and Nepal. Bangladesh though are believed to beat Nepal with ease, there is strong sense of belief the next three opponents will be tougher for them.
Considering the opponents, it looked a bit tougher for Bangladesh to get through the first round. But Shanto looked quite upbeat to overcome the hurdle of the first round. 
He stressed on making small plans to get the expected result. 
"I think we have to make small plans to get through the first round. We are in a strong group. It will be difficult. There's no big or small team in T20s. If we play well on the particular day, we can beat any team," Shanto said in an official press conference for the T20 World Cup today.
The Bangladesh squad will leave Dhaka for Huston via Dubai at 1.40AM on Thursday. 
Shanto said the team combination and preparation was perfect for the prestigious tournament. Even though the captain himself was not in good form, Shanto believes he can make a good comeback in the World Cup. 
"If our preparation and team combination is taken into account, I think it is a very good team. It is important to perform their individual duty during the particular day. I am sure they will deliver," he opined.
"I made a good comeback in the last World Cup. I am not too worried about my batting in this tournament. I am working hard, improving in practice. I am confident that I can make another comeback in this World Cup."
But what makes Shanto more confident for doing well in the World Cup, is that his fast bowling troop, which has been excellent of late in all conditions. 
"We have a much improved fast bowling department. There's a higher possibility of winning a T20 match if the bowling unit does well. Bowlers are bigger match winners in T20s. We are also likely to play on conditions that may aid spin so given our variation in attack, they should also do well. Bowling is overall our strength," he informed. 
Shanto also explained about the exclusion of allrounder Saifuddin and the inclusion of Liton Das. These two players made headlines ever since the team was announced. 
Pacer Tanzim Hasan Sakib was chosen ahead of Saifuddin, who took eight wickets in four matches against Zimbabwe while Liton still made the team despite his poor form. 
"Coach, myself and the three selectors have been discussing selection even before the Zimbabwe series. We took a collective decision with the squad. Sakib bowls faster than Saifuddin, who hasn't performed up to our expectations. They were close, but we had more confidence in Sakib as an overall package," Shanto explained.
"Liton is a very important player. He hasn't had a good time recently. It can happen to any cricketer. We didn't want to bring in a new player in such a big event. We valued Litton's experience."
Shanto believes that fast bowler Taskin Ahmed will recover from his side strain injury ahead of the World Cup. 
"We are hopeful that Taskin will be available from the first game (of the T20 World Cup). That's what I have heard from the medical team. He is our main bowler. If he is not in the team, we have to go ahead with the backup options. Everyone has to be prepared," he said.
Citing legspinner Rishad Hossain a complete package, Shanto said he wants to give him the license so that he can bring up his true potential. 
"We have a good legspinner in our team. Rishad performed with bat and ball in most of the recent matches. Team gets extra benefit from his batting. He is also one of our best fielders. He is a complete package. If he can give his best, the team will go ahead. I don't want to put him under any pressure. I want him to do what he can do."
Bangladesh open their T20 World Cup campaign against Sri Lanka on June 8 in Dallas. Ahead of the tournament, it will play a three-match T20 series against co-host USA.
Squad: Najmul Hossain Shanto ( Captain), Taskin Ahmed (Vice Captain), Liton Das, Soumya Sarkar, Tanzid Hasan Tamim, Shakib Al Hasan, Towhid Hridoy, Mahmudullah Riyad, Jaker Ali Anik, Tanvir Islam, Mahedi Hasan, Rishad Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Shoriful Islam, Tanzim Hasan.
Traveling reserves: Afif Hossain, Hasan Mahmud.

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