x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Shakib Al Hasan confident Bangladesh will stand strong

The captain will be astounded if Bangladesh suffer a terminal batting collapse for the second time in a week when they face England in their must-win World Cup Group B fixture.

Shakib Al Hasan will be astounded if Bangladesh suffer a terminal batting collapse for the second time in a week when they face England in their must-win World Cup Group B fixture today.

The Bangladesh captain has had an uncomfortable seven days since his team were bowled out for only 58 on the way to a nine-wicket defeat against West Indies in Dhaka.

The Windies team bus was stoned as it left the Sher-e-Bangla stadium, by disappointed supporters who reportedly mistook it for the home team's transport.

Windows were also broken at Shakib's home as more frustration was vented, and there has been much criticism of the captain in the Bangladesh press.

The 23-year-old believes a repeat of such poor batting is highly unlikely in Chittagong.

"I don't think this will be an issue for us. Such things happen once or twice in life," he said.

"We have in mind that we have returned from many bad situations in the past. We are prepared. All the players are confident."

Shakib is also heartened to know that his team will be able to play free of the extra pressure of criticism - because it is he who is shouldering the blame.

"All of it is coming upon me, so the team is spared," he said. "They are safe from it. They are confident enough to do the good things and do the right things.

"We believe in ourselves that if we play our best game we can beat any side in the world, in our home conditions especially."

The Tigers, who have one win from three games, will almost certainly drop out of the race for the quarter-finals from Group B if they lose the day-night game at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium.

"The boys are tense, but they are also confident that they can put up a good show," Shakib said .

"We have prepared well for the game. We have worked hard in the last few days." England, meanwhile, will book an early ticket to the quarter-finals if they beat Bangladesh and the West Indies defeat Ireland in Mohali in the other game today.

And Eoin Morgan is all set for his second World Cup campaign, insisting this time his lifelong dreams really have come true.

The Irishman was an ever-present for his native country as they reached the Super Eight stage of the 2007 tournament in the Caribbean. But having replaced the injured Kevin Pietersen in England's squad - and in line to play against Bangladesh today - this tournament is the real deal for the 24-year-old batsman.

"I have played a World Cup for Ireland," he said. "But all through that World Cup, I said I wanted to play for England, so it is a dream come true."