'Not thinking of the occasion'

'Not thinking of the occasion'

 The Bangla­desh cricket team will be playing a big game in their history when they take on defending champions India in the semifinals of the Champions Trophy here at Edgbaston on Thursday.

Nerves are bound to be there ahead of such an important occasion — Bangladesh’s first semifinal appearance in an ICC event — but their Sri Lankan coach Chandika Hathurasingha said the mood in the camp is very relaxed and they are confident of causing a shock.

“The mood is good, very relaxed in the camp,” said Hathurasingha after the team sweated it out for about two hours at the Colts Ground adjoining the main stadium. “At the start of the tournament, I said that whatever we are going to achieve here will be big. We are very happy with where we are. We are confident.

Just another game, that’s how we are going to approach. We're not thinking of the occasion too much. This is an opportunity to show the world what we can do and how far we have come. We're treating this not as a big match but a big opportunity. To be honest, not many people gave us chance to be here even. But India is a good team, if we can beat them, it will be a very good achievement for us.”

Hathurasingha said the players now believe they can beat anyone in the world and that has had a huge impact in their rise in limited overs cricket. “We have a good enough skilled team. Over the years, we have covered our bases, got the right combination of youth and experience. The biggest hurdle for us is playing away from home. If you don't play away from home with big teams, you don't know where you are at. Belief comes from playing against the big teams. If you look at our history, whenever we’ve played any team a few times, we've closed the gap. That's the biggest thing. The belief is there.”

India boasts a very classy batting line-up but Hathurasingha said he's got plans to counter them. “We have a plan for most of the players but sometimes plans don't work because they're very good players. Definitely we have individual plans. We'll try to restrict them early. If we get a good start it will help us, if we can get into the Indian middle-order early, it helps.”