Vastavam web: Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza admitted that there will be pressure on his side ahead of their maiden semi-final appearance in a global event but quantum of expectation is manifold from India which has a huge cricket following.”Yes, we are playing in the semi-final and it is a pressure game. But if we are under pressure then I think India are under more pressure compared to us because of their huge population and the love for the game among common public,” Mortaza said at the pre-match press conference.The skipper agreed that there is hype around the match but didn’t want to classify it as the biggest match in Bangladesh’s cricket history.
“I have been answering that question since 2015 World Cup. Obviously, there is a big hype. Being among top-eight and in the semi-final is big thing. But I am not sure if this is the biggest match or not.”Asked what has been the catalyst in Bangladesh’s transformation as a potent ODI side, Mortaza said: “Beating England in 2015 World Cup and then giving New Zealand a tough fight were the high points.In last two years, we have managed to play with some sort of freedom. That is as much as you can do in the middle. Players feeling more secured about their places in the side. These things do help.”Bangladeshi media’s favorite topic has been all about the encounter being a “grudge match” and how their beloved “Tigers” will be exacting revenge.
“After World Cup 2015, we have played, I think two T20s and three ODIs. We have obviously forgotten it. It has been 24 months and exactly like what Virat had said, tomorrow is going to be a new match.”More than 2015 World Cup, Mortaza made it clear that one-run defeat in the World T20 game against India in Bangalore hurt them more. But now they have moved on.”Obviously, we have been disappointed, especially in World T20. We couldn’t get 2 runs from 3 balls when two of our best batsmen (Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim) were at the crease,” he said.