Pakistan coach Grant Bradburn has said his squad is determined to rescue their faltering ICC Cricket World Cup campaign when they meet South Asian rivals Bangladesh at the historic Eden Gardens stadium in Kolkata.
Pakistan are on the verge of a group-stage exit at the tournament and need to defeat Bangladesh on Tuesday to preserve any slim hopes of making the semifinals.
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As well as four defeats in six games so far, Pakistan’s campaign has been plagued by reports of no pay and rifts between the country’s cricket board and players.
“To prepare ourselves and give our best are the things that we focus on, the things within our control and there are great expectations and we’re desperate to make our nation proud,” Bradburn told reporters on Monday.
He said the team is hurting from their woeful campaign where wins over the Netherlands and Sri Lanka have been followed by defeats to India, Australia, Afghanistan and South Africa.
“We’re in a position that we didn’t want to be,” said Bradburn, whose team also has a poor net run-rate of -0.38.
“We were determined at this stage of the tournament to be in control of our destiny but we’re not.
“That hurts the group and all we can do now is control what we can control, and that is prepare well for three remaining pool games and then allow fate to be hopefully leaning on us in terms of our semifinal hopes from there.”
Bradburn said Bangladesh will be a tough challenge even though the Tigers have lost five out of six and will definitely be eliminated if they lose again on Tuesday.
“They’re a quality group of cricketers but we are well prepared for them,” said Bradburn.
‘Talk is cheap’
Bangladesh skipper Shakib al-Hasan warned his players that “talk is cheap” and demanded they put words into action to rescue their battered pride at the World Cup.
“We discussed it, we had our team meetings, so we sat down, we talked about it, but we have to show it in action and that the talk is cheap when it’s not working,” said Shakib.
“So, we’ll do it at the ground so the action can take care of it and everyone can see it. I mean, only we can change the situation of the team with our actions. So that’s what we are trying to do.”
Pakistan have won 33 one-dayers and lost just five against Bangladesh. However, Bangladesh have won four of the teams’ last six clashes.
Both teams have played each other twice in the ICC Cricket World Cup. Bangladesh upset their rivals with a win in 1999 in England, while Pakistan won the tie in 2019 in the same country.
Both teams go into the match with woeful results in the tournament and will look to flip their form in order to salvage their campaign.
Bangladesh: L L L L L
Pakistan: L L L L W
Bangladesh: Litton Das, Tanzid Hasan Tamim, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Shakib al-Hasan (captain), Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Mahedi Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Shoriful Islam
Pakistan: Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Mohammad Wasim, Shaheen Shah Afridi, 11 Haris Rauf
Source: News Agencies