Shakib flays home pitches, but says B'desh will be ready for T20 World Cup

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Dhaka, Sep 12 (IANS) Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan feels that the winning mentality his team has gained over the last few months (the side has won the last three T20I series) had prepared the boys well for the ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman, and added that while the pitches were not ideal for preparation, “there is nothing better than winning” to boost the morale.

“I think we are well prepared, by winning these last three (T20I) series. There’s been a lot of criticism about pitches and low scores, but there’s nothing better than winning,” Shakib said, not hiding his displeasure at the pitches prepared at the Shere Bangla National Stadium where the hosts won the T20I series against Australia and New Zealand.

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“Such a winning streak takes confidence to a different level. You wouldn’t have it if you played well but lost. We want to go to the World Cup with confidence,” the all-rounder told espncricinfo on Sunday.

Shakib conceded that the pitch prepared for the T20I series against New Zealand, which the hosts won 3-2, was more difficult to play on compared to the pitch prepared for the series against Australia, which was also won by the hosts 4-1.

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Shakib asked his teammates to forget about their dominance on home pitches if they are to perform in the ICC T20 World Cup.

“Those who played the last 9-10 matches, are all out of form. That’s how the wicket was. Nobody did well. I hope the batters don’t count this performance. Careers will end if any batter plays 10-15 matches on these wickets. Let’s not take this into account. Everyone will try hard to win games for the country,” added Shakib.

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The veteran player said that his side has enough time to prepare for the World Cup despite playing on home pitches not suited for T20 cricket. Shakib and team-mate Mustafizur Rahman will also play in the second phase of the Indian Premier League scheduled to be held in the UAE from September 19 and the cricketer feels it will help in the preparations for the T20 World Cup.

“I am hopeful that the IPL will help everyone. We will be spending time in those conditions, play matches too. Mustafiz and I can share the experience with the rest of the team. We will understand the other players’ mindset, what they are thinking about the World Cup, and then report it back to our players.

“Our team will be in Oman at least 15-16 days before the World Cup, which is enough time for acclimatising with conditions and wickets. I don’t think pitches and conditions here will have any impact over there. We have built a winning mentality, which will help us be confident in the World Cup.”

–IANS

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