Mashrafe Mortaza finds injury to Shakib Al Hasan as a massive blow to Bangladesh's chances of victory on their upcoming tour of New Zealand.
Arguably the best all-rounder in the world has been ruled from his team's ODI leg of their month-long sojourn on Kiwi shores because of the fracture he sustained on his finger during the Bangladesh Premier League(BPL).
"We don't need to mention the importance of Shakib because every time we went on to play without him we had a difficult experience," said Mortaza before the three-match 50-over series kickstarts in Napier on February 13.
"We all know it will be a big challenge in New Zealand but now the challenge is doubled after losing him. We have to play with our available resources because we played with the same kind of challenge in the Asia Cup."
"We have to play with a positive frame of mind in order to overcome the challenge. It is true that the balance is disrupted with his absence because by losing him we incur losses in two places. We need to be mentally prepared to take up the responsibility of filling his gap."
Next two one-dayers will be played in Christchurch and Dunedin on February 16 and 20th respectively. Before the three-match Test series begins in Hamilton a week later.
"It is certainly possible to win the ODI series, it is not true that we cannot win it. But now (considering Shakib's absence) it has turned out to be difficult but possible," Mashrafe added.
"To make that happen we need to have the belief and mental strength as well as we need to execute our plans properly, and if that is the case it is possible."
(Inputs from AFP)