Bangladesh cricket team is now in New Zealand to play three ODIs and three T20Is against the hosts whom they never beat on their home soil yet. The series will begin from March 20 and expectedly, there will be immense pressure on the team to do something different and win at least a match this time.
It is not a secret the conditions will be adverse this time as well. The Tigers will miss their main gun, Shakib Al Hasan, too.
Ex ODI skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza who knows the conditions there very well, believes that the team can bring out the best possible result if the unnecessary pressure is taken away from them.
Mashrafe said it was possible to get good results on New Zealand soil if cricketers can play with an open mind. The veteran fast bowler, who has been out of the team for two ODI series including the New Zealand tour, said this while addressing a function at Dhaka University on Friday.
This is Tamim Iqbal's first tour as official ODI captain. Mashrafe knows he will be under tremendous pressure but the way Tamim talked before leaving for New Zealand was positive to the veteran fast bowler.
"We all know this is going to be a difficult tour. Besides, there is no Shakib Al Hasan. But the way Tamim talked before leaving, was really positive. I am really hopeful of something better this time," Mashrafe said.
There has been some kind of positivity in the air regarding this tour. From team management to players, everyone has talked about at least winning a match this time. Mashrafe asked everyone to support the team without dumping any pressure.
"'Everyone is hoping that the Bangladesh team will do well in New Zealand. But I do not think the team should be given unnecessary pressure."
"Victories and defeats are part and parcel of the game. But there should not be any unnecessary pressure on the team. I think they will do better if we reduce our pressure on them. The players are well capable of beating the hosts this time, I believe, but they should be given the licence to play with an open mind," Mashrafe added.
Mashrafe is not being considered for the national team at the moment. He will continue playing in the domestic circuit when it resumes.