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Pakistan warm up for World Cup with Bangladesh

SYDNEY – Pakistan take on South Asian minnows Bangladesh in their first of the two warm-up games at the picturesque suburban Blacktwon International Sports Park in Sydney on Monday, with skipper Misbah-ul-Haq promising this to be the beginning of a turnaround from the recent run of poor form.

The smallish 8,000 capacity stadium would be chock-a-block Monday as the Pakistani and Bangladeshi expatriates pounced to pick up all available tickets the moment the sales opened. Cricket fervour ahead of the ICC World Cup 2015 aside, one reason for this over-exuberance among both the communities is that it is rare for them to see their cricketing stars in action live – so few and far between have been Team Pakistan and Bangladesh's visits to these parts.

Since embarking on the tour of New Zealand and Australia with an intent to emulate the 1992 triumph thrust upon them by an expectant nation, Pakistan lost all four matches in New Zealand, two of these ODIs. Team Pakistan though is determined to reverse the tide and display some spark in Monday's game as well as the one against England on Wednesday (Feb. 11) ahead of the high-octane encounter against India.

"We haven't had a great time in our recent one-day internationals, but when push comes to shove we have a history of making spectacular comebacks. I am positive the players will make a huge effort to lift themselves individually and as a team from its bootstraps," said Misbah.

After another miserable 2014 in which they lost all their one-day series except for a 5-0 whitewash of Zimbabwe, Bangladesh too will be keen to display a measure of defiance.

With both opponents looking keen to end their miserable run, with sizeable support in the stands egging them on, the profile of the encounter remains enhanced.