India vs Bangladesh: Coach Chandika Hathurusingha aims to keep BAN calm | icc-champions-trophy-2017 | Hindustan Times
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India vs Bangladesh: Coach Chandika Hathurusingha aims to keep BAN calm

Bangladesh national cricket team trained in Birmingham on Tuesday, preparing for the ICC Champions Trophy semifinal while Indian cricket team players enjoyed back-to-back off days

icc champions trophy 2017 Updated: Jun 13, 2017 22:50 IST
Soumitra Bose
Bangladesh cricket team coach Chandika Hathurusingha (L) and Mashrafe Mortaza during a training session at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Tuesday, preparing for their ICC Champions Trophy semifinal vs Indian cricket team to be played on Thursday..
Bangladesh cricket team coach Chandika Hathurusingha (L) and Mashrafe Mortaza during a training session at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Tuesday, preparing for their ICC Champions Trophy semifinal vs Indian cricket team to be played on Thursday..(REUTERS)

Bangladesh were down to business as India had a second off day and leisurely drove into Birmingham from London on Tuesday evening ahead of their ICC Champions Trophy semifinal at Edgbaston on June 15.

This is the first time that Bangladesh will be contesting in the knockout stage of the mini World Cup and having knocked out tournament dark horses New Zealand en route to the semis, Mashrafe Mortaza’s team will be backing themselves to look India in the eye.

Like all wise backroom staff, Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha is doing everything to keep the players stress-free and said his team was “doing nothing special for the India clash.”

As Bangladesh trained hard on a warm day, Virat Kohli’s India were still savouring the eight-wicket win against world No 1 South Africa at the Oval on Sunday.

The intensity it takes to score a win of such gigantic proportion takes a toll on the mind and body and India, quite wisely, chose to stay away from the training field in the last 48 hours.

India were at the Lord’s attending a special dinner on Monday and Kohli sounded the warning bells for Bangladesh. The mind games actually began soon after India pulverised South Africa to top their group and storm into the semifinals.

“The confidence that we have derived from the South Africa win is one that we want to take forward to the semifinals,” said Kohli. At the Lord’s dinner, Kohli went a step forward and the message was clear – ‘Bring on Bangladesh’.

Bangladesh, who will play India for the first time in the Champions Trophy, have three wins in their last five completed ODIs and have the potential to be giant-killers.

GOOD TIMES

Bangladesh’s good times in limited-overs cricket started with the 2015 World Cup. Bangladesh knocked out England to reach the quarterfinals Down Under and the Tigers have only got better.

“That (reaching 2015 World Cup quarters) was a real turning point, after that we wanted to do well at home which we have done.

“We set our targets to do well overseas, and this (Champions Trophy semifinal) is the fruit of that journey,” Hathurusingha said.

The 48-year-old former Sri Lankan Test batsman is a classic example that a national team coach need not have superman credentials to guide the destiny of a team. Effectively, friction between senior players and the coach has been negligible.

Hathurusingha has no hesitation in saying that India are the favourites on Thursday. If that helps Bangladesh stay calm, why not?

“The past doesn’t matter. I don’t think many people even gave us a chance of reaching the semi-final.

“Now is our chance to show the world about how far we have come, and hopefully enjoy the game,” the coach said.