Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan has raised eyebrows in Adelaide by admitting that a silver medal is not his team’s target at this year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.
Speaking to reporters ahead of their meeting with India in Adelaide, the all-rounder instead wanted to put the pressure of the match heavily on the shoulders of his opponents, knowing that their minimum campaign objective is to win the trophy.
“India are pre-match favourites. They have come here to win the World Cup, we are not here to win the World Cup,” Shakib said.
“You can understand the situation, if we win against India, it will be an upset and we will try our best to upset India.”
While Shakib tries to play down expectations, it is worth noting that the teams are second on four points in Group 2, both with two wins and a loss. India have the net win rate advantage and are likely to make it to the semi-finals more easily, even though Bangladesh won a T20I over their neighbors only in Delhi in 2019.
The Bangladesh skipper has urged his team-mates not to play on emotions when facing an allegedly stronger rival and rather focus on well-laid plans to play on percentages.
“We don’t want to focus on a single opposition. We just want to stick to our plans,” Shakib said.
“We’re just focused on making sure we have a complete team performance in all parts of the game.
“We want to play well in our remaining two games. If we manage to win against India or Pakistan, it would be disappointing.
“Both teams are better than us on paper, if we play well and if it’s our day, there’s no reason we can’t win. We’ve seen teams like Ireland and Zimbabwe beat England and Pakistan. If we’re capable of the same, I will be happy.”
Shakib believes Bangladesh will be as well represented in the Adelaide crowd as any other city in Australia, although he predicts it will be packed with opposition support.
“I think it will be a full house because India gets good support wherever they play. I think it will be a good match,” he added.