Mashrafe: We don’t want to think about the rankings


Bangladesh ODI captain Mashrafe Mortaza does not want his team to concentrate on ranking points when the three-match ODI series against India starts on Thursday.

The Tigers go into the series at home currently sitting at number eight on the ODI rankings, only one point ahead of Pakistan, with only the top eight teams at the end of September getting automatic qualification to the 2017 Champions Trophy.

According to how the ICC's points system works Bangladesh need to win two of their six ODI's, three against India and three against South Africa in July, to make sure of their entry into the tournament.

Mashrafe though does not want his players to think about the rankings as he feels this could put extra pressure on the team.

The Tigers skipper said: "It is quite natural to think about this type of equation. But at some point this can become cause for extra pressure. We don't want the cricketers to think about it.

"We should take it match by match, which is more important for us. We are improving so we must handle this sort of pressure. It is going to be bigger in the future.

"We are hoping to see Bangladesh cricket take the next step which will be a lifetime achievement for us. But it is important to control such emotions.

"We faced similar pressure at the World Cup where even those who believed in us could only hope that we would reach the second round. So just like we did it there, we will take it match by match."