Mashrafe urges Bangladesh to raise game for must-win India World Cup clash
BIRMINGHAM – Skipper Mashrafe Mortaza says Bangladesh will have to raise their game against a strong India side on Tuesday if they are retain any chance of reaching the World Cup semi-finals.
Mashrafe's side have seven points after three wins and a washout, three points behind fourth-placed England.
To retain any chance of qualifying from the 10-team group phase they need to win both of their final fixtures, against India and Pakistan, and hope results elsewhere go in their favour.
"India are very strong in this World Cup and it is not going to be easy but we have to play hard and be at 100 percent in every area," he said.
"Are we going to still be in it? Maybe, maybe not. Let's see but we have to play better than what we have done so far."
Shakib Al Hasan, the world's top-rated all-rounder in one-day internationals, has scored 476 runs and picked up 10 wickets in the tournament.
"Shakib has been doing whatever he can do," said Mashrafe. "He has been doing everything in batting, bowling and fielding. He has been the best performer at this World Cup.
"There is much left and hopefully he can do whatever he has done and finish on a good level."
England handed India their first defeat of the tournament at Edgbaston on Sunday, blunting their spin attack to rack up 337-7, with the home batsmen making the most of a short boundary on one side.
But Mashrafe, whose side will take on India on the same ground in Birmingham, said they had their own plans against the two-time champions.
"The Indian spinners are doing a lot better if you look at their stats in the last two, three years. Both (Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav) are doing very well," said Mashrafe.
"We can't think just because England did it we will and get success. Our batting has been very good and we will stick to the plan.
"Maybe against New Zealand we could have done better but the way we are playing we should stick to our plan. England stuck to their plan, we stuck to ours."AFP