Bangladesh v India: Mortaza targets vital victory

Bangladesh will hope to capitalise on India's unbeaten streak coming to an end as the Tigers seek to keep their Cricket World Cup semi-final hopes alive at Edgbaston on Tuesday.

Mashrafe Mortaza's side need to win their last two group games and hope for favourable results elsewhere in order to extend their tournament.

India stand in their way in Birmingham, where Virat Kohli's men lost their unblemished record in a 31-run loss to hosts England on Sunday.

While Bangladesh will certainly be the underdogs, a dominant win over an Afghanistan side who ran India and Pakistan close will give them confidence, though Mortaza knows they must play to their full potential.

"We have to play at our best," he said. "If we can manage to win, that will be great.

"India is a very strong side in this World Cup, and it's not going to be easy, but we have to play hard and have to be 100 per cent in every area.

"The good thing is that we're still in the tournament. We have to play a lot better than we have been."

Bangladesh have lost eight of their previous 10 ODI meetings with India, but Mortaza denied there was any mental barrier holding his side back or that pressure from fans' expectations was a factor.

"No, I don't think it's psychological," he said. "It's all about skill. It depends man to man who will take pressure. Obviously, there's pressure in the field.

"It's a good thing that people are supporting Bangladesh cricket team; they want us to win, which is normal, I think.

"Indian fans will also be supporting the Indian team and they want to win. So it's a normal thing, but I don't think there's a lot of pressure."

India will want to mount a response after receiving criticism for a perceived lack of conviction with the bat against England.

Suggestions they were under-motivated in chasing down 338 could provide encouragement to prove a point against Bangladesh.

 

TOURNAMENT SO FAR

With a return of three wins, three defeats and an abandoned clash against Sri Lanka, inconsistency has been a theme of Bangladesh's tournament.

In contrast, India were the model of consistency until England inflicted a maiden defeat upon them at the weekend. However, back-to-back wins to close the group phase could yet seal top spot for the two-time champions. 

WHAT THEY SAID

Mortaza: "Maybe against New Zealand we could do a little better, but the way we're playing, I think we should stick to our plan, and the way England played, I think, they played their way. So I think we have to play with our own plan."

India batting coach Sanjay Bangar: "It's a fresh game. It's going to be on the same track, so we have a bit of an idea of how the track will behave and how the dimensions of the ground are. So we'll try and maximize them."

OPTA FACTS

- India have won four matches on the bounce versus Bangladesh in ODIs.
- Bangladesh and India have met three times before in Cricket World Cup matches; the Tigers winning the first such encounter in 2007 before India registered back-to-back wins in 2011 and 2015.
- Kohli requires a score of 35 to become the leading run scorer in ODIs at Edgbaston. The India skipper averages 154.5 at the venue from six innings.

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