World T20: It will be a real challenge for Bangladesh

"We took the flight yesterday morning and reached at 6 p.m. in the evening. We didn’t have much time to practise and adjust," said Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza.

Bangladesh captain Mushrafe Mortaza addresses the media at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) stadium in Dharamsala. Bangladesh meets the Netherlands on March 9.   -  AP

Oman's Zeeshan Maqsood bowls at the nets during a practice session. In the second match in Dharamsala, Oman faces Ireland.   -  AP

Mudassar Bukhari of the Netherlands bowls at the nets during a practice session.   -  AP

Travelling more than 2000km from the hot and humid conditions of Dhaka at the sea level to the cooler Dharamsala on high altitudes to play two matches within four days, Bangladesh has gone through a breathless experience in its switch from the Asia Cup to the World T20.

After playing the Asia Cup final on Sunday, Bangladesh, the only Test playing nation in Group A, reached here the following day to play its first World T20 qualifier against the Netherlands at the HPCA Stadium on Wednesday.

“We took the flight yesterday morning and reached at 6 p.m. in the evening. We didn’t have much time to practise and adjust,” said Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza on Tuesday.

“India is similar (to Bangladesh) but here conditions are different. You need to adjust to the breathing here. It is cold in the night and we have to play two night matches.”

Considering that several of the Bangladeshi players have no experience of playing in such conditions, it will be a real challenge for the side to acclimatise in practically one day and get back to business.

However, Mortaza said this could not be an excuse for the team, comprising some experienced batsmen such as Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudullah, Sabbir Rahman, all-rounder Sakib Al Hasan and a good attack consisting of Mortaza and Taskin Ahmed.

Having spent 10 days in Bangalore and Mohali, Netherlands had a good build-up to the event. Being joint-champion of the qualifying tournament and with some seasoned players in its ranks, such as captain Peter Borren and Roelf van der Merwe, the team — consisting of several New Zealand and South Africa born players — expects to repeat its 2014 performance of making it to the main draw.

The teams (from):

Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Abu Hider, Arafat Sunny, Mohammad Mithun, Mustafizur Rahman, Nurul Hasan, Soumya Sarkar, Taskin Ahmed, Sakib Al Hasan, Al-Amin Hossain, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Nasir Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Tamim Iqbal.

The Netherlands: Peter Borren (c), Ahsan Malik, Wesley Barresi (wk), Mudassar Bukhari, Ben Cooper, Tom Cooper, Vivian Kingma, Stephen Myburgh, Max O'Dowd, Michael Rippon, Peter Seelaar, Logan van Beek, Timm van der Gugten, Roelof van der Merwe, Paul van Meekeren, Sikander Zulfiar.

Ireland vs Oman

The evening fixture will be between Ireland and the lesser known Oman. Both sides have spent enough time practising in India and are serious in their approach.

Ireland, which had made it to the second round in 2009, has some players with the exposure of playing in English counties. With experienced cricketers in captain William Porterfield, Test player Boyd Rankin, O'Brien brothers, Andy Poynter and George Dockrell in the side, Ireland, which aspires to make the Test grade, hopes to start off with a win.

Oman, primarily comprising Indian and Pakistani expatriates, has made some rapid progress under the guidance of Sri Lankan great Duleep Mendis. It will depend on players like captain Sultan Ahmed, Jatinder Singh and Mehran Khan to achieve its aim of toppling some bigger sides and make an impact.

The teams (from):

Ireland: William Porterfield (c), George Dockrell, Tim Murtagh, Niall O'Brien (wk), Stuart Poynter, Max Sorensen, Stuart Thompson, Craig Young, Andy Balbirnie, Andy McBrine, Kevin O'Brien, Andrew Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Gary Wilson (wk).

Oman: Sultan Ahmed (c/wk), Adnan Ilyas, Munis Ansari, Jatinder Singh, Ajay Lalcheta, Rajesh Kumar Ranpura, Vaibhav Wategaonkar, Aamir Kaleem, Amir Ali, Bilal Khan, Khawar Ali, Mehran Khan, Sufyan Mehmood, Zeeshan Maqsood, Zeeshan Siddiqui.

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