NEW DELHI: Bangladesh’s head coach, Chandika Hathurusingha, praised the Indian cricket team for their fearless style of play, asserting that they have managed to instil a sense of fear in their opponents in the ongoing World Cup. He shared his thoughts on the eve of the crucial World Cup match between Bangladesh and India, acknowledging the formidable form of the host nation.
“I think they have covered every area. They got strike bowlers up front. Bumrah has almost come to his best, as good as we have seen in the past. They have good, experienced spinners going in the middle overs. And their batting, especially the top order, is firing, and it’s scary the way they are playing at this stage without much fear,” Hathurusingha commented during a media interaction.

Hathurusingha also emphasised the importance of enjoyment and support in a team’s success. He stated that the Indian team appears to be thoroughly enjoying their cricket in their home World Cup, which is complemented by significant support from their fans.

“It looks like they are enjoying their cricket at the moment and their home World Cup, and there is a lot of support,” he added.
Regarding Bangladesh’s captain, Shakib al Hasan, who has been nursing a left quadriceps niggle, Hathurusingha emphasised that the star all-rounder will only play the World Cup game against India if he feels fully fit. Shakib had a good batting session and some running practice, and his availability depends on the results of a scan and further assessment on the day of the match.
“He (Shakib) had a good batting session yesterday. He did a bit of running between the wickets as well. We are waiting for the result of the scan we did today. We haven’t tried his bowling yet. We will assess him tomorrow morning, and make a decision,” Hathurusingha said.

Team Bangladesh

Bangladesh bowling coach Allan Donald talks to players during practice. (Reuters Photo)

Hathurusingha clarified the process involved in deciding a player’s fitness, which includes input from medical staff and a green or red light, followed by the captain and coach’s decision, keeping in mind the player’s readiness for one or both aspects of the game.
Despite Bangladesh’s recent success against India, having won three of their last four ODI meetings over the past few months, Hathurusingha believes that these results will not impact the World Cup league stage game. He acknowledged the unique nature of World Cup contests and stressed the need for Bangladesh to deliver their best performance to challenge India.
“We had success in the recent past against India but it is a different ball game in the World Cup. We are hoping to have a complete performance. India, the in-form team in the World Cup, has a not-so-good game, and (if) we play to our potential, it will serve us. We need to start well,” he stated during interaction with the media.
Hathurusingha recognized that the batting department needed to improve its performance to stand a chance against India, given the quality of the pitch. He expressed hope for a complete team performance, mentioning that when Bangladesh plays to its potential and works as a unit, they can compete against strong teams.

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When questioned about Tamim Iqbal’s absence from the squad, Hathurusingha declined to provide a definitive answer. He mentioned that Tamim was not ready during the team selection, and while acknowledging his impressive track record as a player, he refrained from speculating whether the team was missing him during the World Cup, focusing instead on the players currently in the squad whom the team trusts to perform well.
“He (Tamim) is not here. I can’t answer if we are missing him or not,” Hathurusingha was non-committal. “Unfortunately, he was not ready when we were selecting (the team). Obviously his record as a player is good. At the same time, I don’t know if we are missing him or not. We have players here who we trust to do the job.”
(With inputs from PTI)



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