Shakib Bullish About Bangladesh's Chances At T20 WC

Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has said that despite the criticism that the turning T20I pitches at home have copped, the victories have given the team a much needed “winning mindset” ahead of the T20 WC in the UAE and Oman.

Bangladesh earned three successive T20I series wins recently, which includes gunning down Australia and New Zealand at home after defeating Zimbabwe in Harare. As a result, Mahmudullah’s men have moved up to sixth place in the ICC rankings.

Although there have been lots of talks about winning the home rubbers against Australia and New Zealand on tailor-made pitches, Shakib feels that there is no better way to prepare other than winning.

“I think we have a good chance in the World Cup. We had a good preparation. There is lots of criticism regarding wickets and low scores but at the same time we have to understand that there is nothing that gives you more confidence than a win. A team carries a winning mentality after success and that gives you confidence to a different level. We want to go to the World Cup with this confidence,” Shakib said.

”We will go there 15-16 days before the World Cup and I feel that will be enough to adapt to those conditions and wickets and I don’t think this pitch and conditions will have an impact over there. We have developed a winning mentality and want to go there with it.”

Shakib feels Bangladesh can go all the way if things go right in the Two World Cup.

“It is difficult to say how far we can go, but I feel we can go all the way at the World Cup,” Shakib said. “We have to play match by match and if we can do well in the first round, we will carry that confidence and we can give our best in the main round (Super 12).

Bangladesh are set to travel to Oman in early October for a preparation camp as the tourists will first have to play in the qualifiers and then the main event if they can finish first or the second in the group.

In the first phase of the competition, Bangladesh have been slotted in Group B and will contest with Oman, Papua New Guinea and Scotland. In Group A Ireland, Netherlands, Namibia and Sri Lanka will contest.

Shakib added that batsmen and precisely the openers should not be judged on their performances against Australia and New Zealand.

Bangladesh batsmen, and openers in particular, were unable to put any noteworthy performances in the recently-concluded series and the lack of runs from the top-order remained a matter of concern for the team which will also be missing experienced Tamim Iqbal at the top.

“Everyone is out of form, those who played these 9 to 10 matches. Here no one (batsman) did very well that we can say that the (openers) did badly, so I feel we should not count these games to judge our batsmen. I feel a batsman will end his career if he plays 10 to 15 matches here. Everyone is trying, and have the ability to win matches for the country,” Shakib said, adding that IPL will be a good preparation.

”I think it (IPL) will help. We will be staying there and will get accustomed to those conditions and we (Mustafizur and I) can share our experiences with other teammates. The two of us can understand the mindset of the cricketers regarding the World Cup and we can share that with our teammates that will help us to do well in the World Cup.

“Last time I went to the World Cup (2019) after completing the IPL and this time round it will be a similar case. I will try to prepare to the best of my ability for the World Cup but it’s not a certainty that I can deliver in the same manner. But preparation wise, I want to be a hundred percent,” he added.

Shakib is just two wickets away from becoming the highest wicket taker in T20Is. He needs only one wicket to go evel with Lasith Malinga.

“For me team performance is most important and how I am contributing behind any win. My mindset always remained like that and still it is the same. Even if that means I am bowling economically without picking any wicket.”

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