Millennium Post

Dressing room relaxed ahead of big semi-final: Bangladesh coach

The Bangladeshi dressing room is very relaxed and the team is happy to be playing the semi-final of the ICC Champions Trophy, coach Chandika Hathurusingha said ahead of their crunch game against India on Thursday.

He also ruled out the game as some sort of revenge after that 2015 World Cup quarter-final loss against India where a couple of decisions went against the Tigers.

"There is no feeling of revenge. It's about playing a good game against India. We are thinking of competing and doing our best," the coach was quoted as saying by Bangladesh newspaper 'The Daily Star' on Wednesday.

"The mood is very good. We are very relaxed. We are looking forward to the game. At the start of the tournament I said that whatever we will achieve is going to be big and so we are very happy about where we are and the way we have played so far," he told reporters after the morning training session.

Skipper Mashrafe Mortaza even found the time to fool around with his coach.

"For everyone, including the coaching staff, it's the first time and our aim is to go and express ourselves. It's not a very big game; it's a very big opportunity. So, for both the seniors and the juniors my message is to grab this opportunity with both hands," Hathurusingha said.

Experimenting with the batting order was something he should not have done in one of the games, the coach admitted.

"I should admit that we strayed from our original plan in one game. I take the blame. But we still back our initial thought that we need to give players enough opportunity to get used to certain places. He (Sabbir Rahman) has got limited opportunities to prove (himself) and deserves more opportunities."

Hathurusingha indicated the same playing eleven would be retained for Thursday's game against India.

"That's the biggest challenge (settling on a combination) we had. We knew we had good enough skills. We have a good combination in place -- a good combination of youth and experience," he said.

Bangladesh, in the last few years, have set a target of doing well overseas, the coach said.

"It was a gradual improvement if you look at our progress over the last two years. The World Cup was the big turning point for us. We went to the quarterfinals by beating England. Then we set a target to do well at home and we have achieved that. And for the last year or so we set our target of doing well overseas. And coming all the way to play the semifinal is a big step for us.

"We are very confident. We don't want to think who our opposition is but we want to maximise our potential to give ourselves the best chance," he said, adding that India are still one of the favourites to win the title.

Hathurusingha conceded they are not favourites against India adding a victory would boost their morale big time.

"To be honest not many people will give us a chance to win against India. They are a good team but if we can beat them it will be a very good achievement for us," he said.
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