Bangladesh will take on current world champions Australia in a do or die Group A fixture of the Champions Trophy at the Oval on Monday. Following their defeat against England, to stay in the hunt for the semis Bangladesh have to win this game.
In their One-Day International (ODI) history, the Tigers have beaten Australia only once out of previous 19 meetings. However, their only victory came in England, back in 2005, when MohammadAshraful’s maiden hundred helped Bangladesh to chase down 250 at Cardiff.
Bangladesh skipper MashrafeMortaza is the only cricketer from that game, who is still active at the international arena and he will feature in tomorrow’s match.
In the pre-match press conference on Sunday, Mortaza recalled that match and cherished the memories. However, he also spoke about creating new memories for the boys and fans.
Here are the excerpts from the press conference.
Q: So you know how to beat Australia, Cardiff 2005. Obviously, a big day in Bangladesh cricket history. Are you confident you can beat them again tomorrow and knock them out of this tournament?
MashrafeMortaza (MM): Yes, Cardiff is 12 years back. Obviously, tomorrow is a new day and, and it has been a good memory for us. Obviously, the best teams are going to play tomorrow and we are confident enough to play against them. We will try our level best.
Q: How much of an advantage do you think it will be to have played already once on this pitch? It’s going to be the same pitch, I believe.
MM: I don’t think so [it will be an advantage], that we are going to play the same pitch. Yes, I think it might help. At least we know what score we can defend, or how much we have to score. So it might help a bit for the batters and bowlers.
Q: And talking about the batters, any more thoughts about loading your batsmen, eight batsmen last time around, any thoughts about it?
MM: Yeah, I’ve been thinking about it. But one thing is clear, we have to score a large sum. Normally 300 in one-day cricket is good enough, but with the circle, they have got now, and if the wicket is like this, you have to rethink about it.
Q: How well do you remember that game in Cardiff? You’re the only player on either side still playing. And what was the feeling like to beat Australia back then?
MM: I can remember, only I get Gilchrist out, that’s what I can remember. It was a great memory for us, especially on this team, only me. That’s what I can remember. But the team has changed. The team is playing good cricket now. So let’s see what happens.
Q: And you’ve had a good run over the last couple years, but how big a scalp would it be to beat Steven Smith’s team tomorrow and possibly put them out of the tournament?
MM: Yes, we’re playing so far good cricket. But you know, overseas we have to improve a little better. Yes, we are learning, and hopefully, we’ll cope with all the pressures tomorrow and we will try to deliver our best.
Whatever I say, we have to calculate a bit more, which area we need to do a little bit more like batting, 30 extra runs or during the bowling time for the batters’ benefit, if we can bowl ourselves a bowling groove, if we can score 30 more runs, that will really help the team win.
Q: What was the team doing last night when there was the terror attack and how safe do you feel right now?
MM: Last night we have been in our hotel. Look, this is happening all over the world. So we have to benefit from the host and ICC, so we don’t have to think about it.
Courtesy: ICC Media release