Melbourne, March 19: Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza today showered accolades on the Indians who thrashed his side by 109 runs here, saying that it would be a challenge for any team to beat the defending champions in the ongoing cricket World Cup.
"India are playing fantastic cricket at the moment and it will be a challenge for any team to beat them. I don't know who will win tomorrow's quarter-final between Pakistan and Australia. But it will be an exciting semi-final and I would like to wish India all the best," Mashrafe said at the post-match media conference after his team's quarterfinal defeat at the MCG.
"Once you've faced a team like India or bigger sides, it is always a challenge, but I think at some stages, we've been very good. Sadly, Suresh (Raina) took the game from us also. I I would also have to say that Rohit was brilliant today," the skipper said graciously.
It was Bangladesh's first quarter-final appearance at the World Cup and Mashrafe had a lot of good words to say about his side for their performance over the last five weeks.
"I think except today, our batsmen have done really well throughout this tournament, which is a much needed boost for us. Hopefully, they'll continue because a very tough year is coming for us. And I think the confidence we got, hopefully it will continue," said Mashrafe.
"We now have two very good young fast bowlers in Taskin and Rubel, who can consistently bowl above 140-145 kmph. This augurs well for Bangladesh cricket as we would play big teams at home in familiar conditions," he said.
On a query about Tamim Iqbal's poor shot selection having got off to a flying start, Mashrafe did well to defend his colleague. "Well, when you chase 300, someone had to attack. He was fine today, I think. He was very intent on doing well. But unfortunately, he got out again after getting a start. We were not lucky enough at times and also we could never built partnerships," lamented Mashrafe.