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Mental strength will be key against India: Ex-Bangladesh skipper

13 Juin 2017

"I really hope Bangladesh come out winners showing great mental strength", Ashraf told Bangladesh's vernacular daily "Jugantor".

If the 2015 World Cup quarterfinal in Melbourne was a lopsided affair as India won by a whopping 109 runs, it was the 2016 T20 World Cup loss by just one run which still hurts. The trophy is not far away now.

It was Rahman's off-cutters that did the trick against India two years back when he bagged five-wicket hauls in two consecutive matches rattling the Indian batting order. Our boys want to play without any pressure and I would want to play with a free mind.

"The way we have been playing in the last two years, it is but normal that we will play the semifinal".

Defending champions India have made their way to the semifinals of the ongoing tournament after defeating the top ranked ODI team South Africa on Sunday by eight wickets.

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Bangladesh have so far rode their experienced players' performances to book a semi-final berth albeit some assistance from rain in the game against Australia where they were down in the dumps when the skies opened up and points were split.

Bangladesh, led by Mashrafe Mortaza, defied all odds to make it to the last-four stage after beating New Zealand and then seeing England get past Australia in Group A.

Apart from Shakib and Mahmudullah, the likes of batsmen Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim have also helped the team to punch above their weight. "I dream of Bangladesh playing the final", Bashar said.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.