Bangladesh Aim To Beat India In T20 WC
Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Bangladesh are targeting to upset defending champions India in the ICC Twenty20 World Cup to be held in England next month.

"It's a Twenty20 game and that is the main concern, you can be knocked out at any stage, but realistically we should make the Super Eights. We are hoping to beat India first and not wait for the Ireland game," said Bangladesh's Australian coach Jamie Siddons during a media session at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Tuesday.

"Once in the Super Eights we want to be the giant-killers. We want to play really good cricket. But before the Super Eights we have to beat India in the first game on June 6 that's our main target." said the Australian.

Asked if having played hardly no part in the Indian Premier League would affect Mohammad Ashraful and Mashrafee Bin Mortaza in the Twenty20 World Cup,
Siddons said that the pair would be ready before the campaign after playing five practice matches in England.

"Ash and Mash are not getting the matches they need. Without those five matches they wouldn't be ready. Ashraful I think is the key for us and he will probably be batting at three and we need him to score quickly."

Siddons also thinks without a doubt Shakib Al Hasan and Ashraful will make a significant difference in the Bangladesh batting order.

The national players played three warm-up matches against Maharashtra Cricket Association winning the first game by 63 runs, but lost the third and final game by seven wickets. Rain ruined the second match where the hosts had a great chance of winning the match.

"Apart from today (third warm-up match against Maharashtra CA) , I am happy with the fact they all were getting practice. Every batsman got some runs at some point," said the Bangladesh coach.

Siddons, however, was a bit worried about his openers and said that the second opening batting position was up for grabs.

Left-handed opener Tamim Iqbal's partner Junaed Siddique has been going through a bad patch, but he believed he would perform better in the World Cup.

"The focus is on the World Cup. I hope I will do better in the meet," said Siddique.

Recalling the 53 scored against India in the 2007 ICC World Cup, opener Tamim said, "I will definitely carry that memory. I think if Junaed and I can execute the first six overs in line with the team's strategy then the things will be easier for the other batsmen."

Shakib Al Hasan thought that five practice matches in England were very important for them because it would tell how quickly they were adjusting to conditions.

The all-rounder also believes playing those practice matches would help Ashraful and Mashrafee gain the confidence before the India and Ireland matches.

Ashraful and Mashrafee will leave Dhaka for England on May 24, a day after the national team's departure.


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