Kiwis` poor form gives us confidence: Bagai
Mumbai: Canada captain Ashish Bagai on Thursday said a good outing against Kenya and Pakistan coupled with New Zealand`s recent run of poor form, gives his side a confidence of putting up a good show against the Black Caps in their group A match of the World Cup here on Sunday.
Stressing upon the Kiwis recent run of poor form Bagai said, "Besides New Zealand`s poor form, our performances against Kenya and Pakistan gives us belief. Overall, we are confident going into the match.
"We had a good run against Pakistan. We did extremely well to restrict them to 184 before going down by 46 runs. But we hope that this will energise us for the next three matches.
"We knew that Afridi was in form. Target wasn`t high and 3.5 runs an over was extremely gettable. We knew that once Afridi gets wickets he gets on top. But we just have to go on," he said .
Canada however did well to register only their second win in World Cups by defeating Kenya by five wickets in their previous matches at Delhi`s Ferozshah Kotla.
Delhi-born wicketkeeper-batsman said the team will finalise its strategies after assessing the conditions at the Wankhede stadium that will stage its first international match after undergoing renovation.
"Haven`t really thought about that (strategy). Just came to Mumbai yesterday. We will have to assess the condition," he said.
Taking heart from the team`s batting performance against Kenya, 29-year-old Bagai hoped that Canada`s problems with the willow were over.
"Batting has been the problem for us in the first three games. Hopefully, we have sorted that out in the last game. Hopefully, we can continue that," he said.
Bagai hoped that former skipper John Davison, who has had a poor run in this tournament so far, will come good on Sunday.
"(Davison is) Definitely big part of our team. Got tons of experience playing for South Australia, Victoria and Canada. He has added responsibility, hopefully he performs. He is getting a little bit older. Its cricket. It happens to everybody. He bowled well in the first two games. Still got three games to go, hopefully he`ll come good," Bagai said.
Expressing displeasure over the ICC`s decision to exclude the minnows from the 2015 World Cup in Australia, Bagai said the lower ranked teams have not done themselves any good by performing inconsistently in the ongoing tournament.
"I think it is very disappointing and frustrating. At the moment we want to finish this World Cup. But there is an opportunity for us to play in the T20 World Cup. And such a decision will surely hinder the growth of the game. It definitely hurts. Its been a good journey till now in this edition of the World Cup for us. "There have been some inconsistent performances by the minnows. That part has hurt us a little bit. Most teams have two-three games to go. Hopefully, we will put up a good show," he added.
Bagai, however, said in order to improve the performance of the minnows in the World Cup, they should get to play more practice matches in the lead-up to the quadrennial event.
"Its the four-year plan leading up to the World Cup that is very very important. Leading up to it if we can have some competition against some of the smaller nations, few against the big nations, it really will make a difference. You need to get used to a situation where performance has to be at the highest level," he said.
Bagai said despite being one of the oldest associate members of the ICC, Canada hasn`t been able to graduate to the next level due to the absence of a good domestic structure.
"One of the main reasons (why Canada hasn`t graduated to the next level) is competition from other sports in our country. You have very little competition. We have ice hockey, baseball, basketball. The real challenge is to build good infrastructure, good domestic system.”
"We are on our way but its not an overnight thing. We have started five-year program. In the next few years, you will see a few good players coming up," he said.
Though a test nation status was a long-way off, Canada was aiming at a permanent ODI team status, Bagai added.