DHAKA, New Zealand former skipper Brendan McCullum's prediction regarding Bangladesh's World Cup journey met with harsh criticism by the country's adorable fans but can they prove him wrong?
As Bangladesh take on South Africa on Sunday at The Oval, there can be glimpse of their ability of what they can do in the cricket's biggest extravaganza.
McCullum, considered one of the biggest hitter of the cricket ball, has recently forecasted Bangladesh would win only one match against Sri Lanka in this event and end up the World Cup, languishing at the bottom of the table.
Even he didn't see any possibility of a Bangladesh victory against Afghanistan. Realistically McCullum's prediction was a tough pill to swallow for the country's hyper fans who reacted angrily as it was expected.
See Mr. McCullum, don't forget that your country was beaten quite comprehensively at the hands of Bangladesh in the recent time. Even your team tasted a bitter defeat to us in the ICC Champions Trophy. There is possibility that your country can be beaten again against us, what you will do then, wrote Rasheduzzman on his personal Facebook account.
The above stated comment is one of just the few decent comments amongst numerous harsh comments, posted by Bangladeshi fans in various platform of social media outlet.
But can Bangladesh live up to the expectation, the way the fans reacted to McCulllum's prediction?
For a change, Bangladesh would get a side, nursing a humiliating 104run defeat to England in the opening game and would be eager to prove that defeat was just a bad day in the office.
And at the same time, Bangladesh itself is coming into the match as an injuryridden side.
Tamim Iqbal, whose start at the top of the order is imperative in Bangladesh's success, is unlikely for the opening game following a wrist injury. Though no fracture was found after an Xray, there was swelling on the injured place.
There was fitness concern of Mohammad Saifuddin, who is recovering from a back problem, along with Mashrafe Mortaza (hamstring), Mustafizur Rahman (calf) and Mahmudullah Riyad (shoulder). Shakib Al Hasan suffered a back spasm recently but is expected to be back to full fitness.
But Bangladesh looks a team, oozing with confidence to prove McCullum wrong.
We believe we can match anyone, said Bangladesh pace bowling coach Courtney Walsh.
I think we are pretty good, the guys have practiced very well in the last couple of games. The guys have had a very good tournament. So, the confidence is pretty high. We just have to enjoy and play our cricket. Although the guys lost the last practice match but we know we are in a good shape and we have practiced pretty well.
We can have good days and bad days but you want to have more good days than bad days. The confidence of the individual players has been very high.
The guys have been enjoying their practice session you can see that in their body language. The guys are keen to do well, everyone wants to do well for the Bangladesh cricket as it's the World cup. I am excited for Sunday and hoping that we can get a very good start.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)