We are not over-reliant on Shakib: Mashrafe

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Sports Desk:

Bangladesh ODI captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza insisted that the Tigers are not over-reliant on Shakib Al Hasan who has been performing like no other in the ongoing ICC Men’s World Cup.

Bangladesh are all set to take on current world champions Australia today at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. Mashrafe said they believe they can overcome the challenge but it will not be an easy task.

“Shakib is scoring runs; that’s a great thing for the team. But if you look at it, the other boys have stepped up. Mustafizur Rahman got some wickets, Mohammad Saifuddin came in and took the wicket of Chris Gayle early, we all know what he can do,” Mashrafe told reporters on Wednesday.

“So it has not been a one-man army, but Shakib has been doing outstandingly. Some other bowlers have to step up a little bit with what Shakib is doing. We really appreciate what Shakib is doing, and some of the other bowlers with what they have done, and we hope it will be carried on from here. It’ll be great to see,” the captain said.

Shakib scored 384 runs in the World Cup so far and took five wickets. Mashrafe noted that Shakib’s performance strengthened the belief of doing well in the team.

Bangladesh have played 20 ODIs against Australia and won only one of them, which was 14 years ago in Cardiff. Mashrafe is the only player from both teams who participated in that match. That win in 2005 is still considered one of the biggest upsets in the history of ODI cricket.

However, Bangladesh are equipped well to take on the Aussies this time. But Mashrafe said that victory against Australia will not be an easy target for his men.

“I know a few players in our dressing room who believe we can beat anybody, but against Australia, it won’t be easy, for sure, especially the conditions and the form they are in,” Mashrafe added.

Bangladesh kicked off their World Cup campaign beating South Africa by 21 runs, but they suffered a major setback losing two consecutive encounters against New Zealand and England. A washed out game against Sri Lanka added more uncertainty to their dream of a semi-finals berth.

Tigers are now eagerly hoping to upset Australia once again to keep their hope of semi-finals alive.unb

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