DHAKA, (Reuters) – Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza believes playing a fearless brand of one-day cricket has brought about a “significant change” in his team’s fortunes.
Over the last two years Bangladesh lost home ODI series to Sri Lanka and India and were also blanked 3-0 in West Indies, but an upswing in performances has seen them win 10 ODIs at home in a row.
Bangladesh blanked Zimbabwe 5-0 in a five-ODI series before reaching the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand for the first time, and proved that was no fluke by thumping Pakistan 3-0 in a ODI series at home.
They followed that up with their first ODI series win over two-time world champions India on Sunday with a game to spare.
“I think the boys are playing fearless cricket,” Mortaza told reporters. “This is the significant change.
“The boys are not scared to play shots. They are not scared to put the slips on so I think that sort of cricket has changed.
“Cricket is all about mind games. I think we are all playing good cricket at the moment, especially with our head in the right place. I have always wanted to play attacking cricket.”
The Bangladesh batsmen went hard at India’s bowling in both matches while left-arm paceman Mustafizur Rahman ran through the vaunted Indian batting, picking up five wickets on debut and then six on Sunday.
Both victories were comfortably achieved and the margin of the wins surprised even Mortaza.
“This is one of the biggest achievements. Actually I think the boys are really confident. Maybe we didn’t expect (to win) that way,” the medium paceman said.
“But we always thought that we are going to play to win and fight till the last ball. Obviously I know that if we play our best cricket, it will be competitive. But we can win as well.”
While Bangladesh have surprised top teams in the past, they have suffered from a lack of consistency and Mortaza said he hoped his team can continue delivering results.
“Our biggest problem was the consistency,” he said. “In cricket, momentum is very important so hopefully the boys will keep it up.”