Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza says his side will be taking a fearless approach into their ICC Cricket World Cup clash with Australia at Trent Bridge.
The Tigers go into the game still harbouring hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the tournament after outclassing West Indies in Taunton on Monday, but have not beaten tomorrow’s opponents in ODI cricket for 14 years.
“It won't be easy against Australia, for sure, especially with the form they're in,” said Mortaza.
“But a few players in our dressing room believe we can beat anybody, so we’ll fight and you never know.”
Shakib al Hasan has spearheaded Bangladesh’s campaign so far, with the left-hander topping the run-scorers table for the tournament with 384.
But Mortaza feels the rest of the side are backing up their talisman well.
“Shakib is brilliant, and is scoring runs; that's a great thing for the team,” said the skipper.
“But if you look at it, the other boys have stepped up as well. Mustafizur Rahman took big wickets in the last game [dismissing Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer and Andre Russell], and Saifuddin took a very important wicket in Chris Gayle – we all know what he can do.
“We really appreciate what Shakib and the other bowlers are doing. If they carry on from here, it will be great to see.”
Australia vice-captain Alex Carey, meanwhile, feels his side are well-equipped to cope with the Bangladesh bowlers.
“We're not scared of their spinners,” said Carey.
“We know Shakib's a big threat and has done a lot of the work for Bangladesh, so we've prepared accordingly for the conditions and for the attack.”
Australia have won four of their five World Cup games so far, including a nailbiting 15-run victory over the West Indies at Trent Bridge.
But Carey is adamant there are still areas in which his side can improve.
“I think the top of the order, batting-wise, have done a lot of the work, and I think we're bowling really well through the middle overs and at the back end,” he said.
“But there are little areas we can do better at. We'd like to take more wickets up front, and there have been times when we probably would have liked to have finished an innings off better with the bat.
“Although we're getting the results, we're still striving hard to try to find that perfect game.”
A Notts Outlaws squad brimming with international talent will commence their T20 Vitality Blast campaign against Worcestershire Rapids at Trent Bridge on Thursday 18 July, with adult tickets priced at £10. Secure your seats…