Bangladesh are on cloud nine after their emphatic win over West Indies and former national cricketer Alok Kapali believed that the Tigers should not think of giving extra effort in their next match against Australia at Trent Bridge, Nottingham today.
The Tigers bounced back strongly in the 2019 ICC World Cup after securing a comprehensive seven-wicket win over the Caribbean on Monday which also brightened their chance of making it to the knock-out stage of the tournament.
However, they must continue their good work in the field to achieve that goal as they still require a few big wins and their match against Australia will be vital for their qualification.
Bangladesh have five points in as many games and are placed fifth in the points-table while Australia are currently poised at much better position with eight points in five matches.
‘I think Bangladesh should not think of giving extra effort in the match [against Australia]. I think we should maintain the performance what we delivered against West Indies,’ Kapali, who represented Bangladesh in the 2003 ICC World Cup in South Africa, told New Age.
‘We know that Australia will attack with their pace-attack like West Indies did. But I think spinning option is crucial in these surfaces,’ he said.
‘I think our team played pace-attack very well in the tournament and they have come a long way from the past. I think Australia will not take Bangladesh lightly and I think Bangladesh should go with normal game plan,’ he added.
Among the current World Cup teams, Bangladesh have the worst record against Australia in one-day internationals as they won just one match out of 20 against them.
Both of the teams’ last ICC event matches – 2015 ICC World Cup and 2017 ICC Champions Trophy – were washed out due to rain while Bangladesh found themselves at the receiving end of a clinical Australia performance in 1999 and 2007 World Cups.
Although records and history are speaking against Bangladesh, Kapali believed that Bangladesh would have better chance this time around to beat Australia and better their record.
‘I think defeating Australia will be easier than beating India in this World Cup. Though we have a good memory against India in World Cup but still I think we should target Australia for winning,’ said Kapali.
‘Australia didn’t have the fearsome pace attack like they had previously. Apart from Starc [Mitchell] and Cummins [Pat], I don’t see any big threats for us.
‘The first 10 overs are very vital. If we don’t give them wickets in first 10 overs we can chase big totals and also can make big score against them which will be important,’ he added.
Kapali was highly impressed with the Tigers’ body-language and team-spirit in the ongoing tournament and hailed all-rounder Sakib al Hasan’s sublime form both with bat and ball.
‘Since winning the Ireland tri-series, the confidence of the team was very high. Sakib has been in tremendous touch and he has been contributing in every match. I think the team spirit was really good of our side,’ he said.
‘I watched a recent interview of Tamim where he brilliantly defended Mashrafee [bin Murtaza]. This shows how much they are backing their team-mates. I think this is the most positive thing in the current team.
’The way they are playing, we can still be hoping of reaching semi-final. This can be possible because all of them are helping each other,’ he added.
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