Having overcome ‘mental barrier’, Mahmudullah sets sights on series win

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Bangladesh registered their first T20I win over India in Delhi. © BCCI

Bangladesh skipper Mahmudullah said his team was excited at the prospect of clinching its maiden T20I series against India in Rajkot, having overcome a “mental barrier” during their first-ever T20I win over their neighbours in Delhi.

“The mental barrier you speak of, we might [have] come out of that, even if a little bit. I think in T20 cricket, this sort of chance comes often and it depends on how we keep calm and execute our skills to try and win the game,” Mahmudullah told reporters ahead of Thursday’s second T20I.

“Obviously, I think, it is a great-great opportunity, especially when you have already won the first game in the series, so it’s a great opportunity and I think the boys are feeling energetic about it and hopefully we can put up a good show tomorrow,” he said.

Mahmudullah believes a series win at this sensitive juncture in Bangladesh cricket will be a soothing balm following the recent upheavals back home. Bangladesh cricket was engulfed in controversy over the last couple of weeks after several national team players called for an unprecedented strike only to be resolved after Bangladesh Cricket Board accepted most of their 11-point demand list. This was followed by an ICC suspension to Shakib Al Hasan for failing to report corrupt approaches.

“If you concentrate on the recent (developments), whatever is going on in Bangladesh cricket, a series win will be a big boost for Bangladesh cricket and also a big boost for Bangladesh cricket team,” Mahmudullah said. “We have to play good cricket to beat India because we know that they are a good side on their home side and across all over the world, so we have to be on our top from the first ball.”

The Bangladesh captain also added that a series win could even pave the way for full-fledged series against India in the future. “India are very strong in their home soil and they have proven it in the last 11-12 years how strong they are. It will be a big achievement if we can win,” said Mahmudullah. “We have come to India for the first time to play a bi-lateral series so if we can win it then it will be a big achievement for us,” he summed up.

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