India look for revenge
Memories of a shock exit rankle as India take on Bangladesh in the World Cup opener
It still hurts - that defeat at the hands of Bangladesh at he Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad, in the 2007 World Cup.
The defeat hastened India’s
exit from the tournament. It
was Bangladesh’s second win
over India. A lot of water has
flown under the bridge
since. India has had seven successive wins over Bangladesh in
the last four years. However,
scars of that painful defeat
remain intact. Perhaps, they
will be exist in the psyche of the
quintessential Indian fan for
eternity. Fate has presented India an opportunity to ensure
retribution, a chance to make amends and pay back
Bangladesh in the same coin. Thus the opening match of
the 10th World Cup, featuring the two neighbors, assumes
It gives India an opportunity to secure that revenge win
and prove the world cricketing community something that
the Indian fan has always believed — that the shock result
in 2007 was only an aberration.
Bangladesh players celebrate Sachin Tendulkar’s fall during the famous World Cup upset at
Port of Spain, March 17, 2007
ADNAN ABIDI/REU TERS
And even though Indian fans
wait in anticipation for what
they consider a revenge match,
the Indian captain is quick to
draw the line.
“I never predict when it comes to cricket,” Mahendra
Singh Dhoni said. “We will just try and give it our best shot.
It is very important to play the game in the right frame of
mind and that is what we are focusing on.”
There is caution in Dhoni’s voice even as he replies.
“The past is past,” he said. “I am more optimistic than
anyone going into the game.”
“Both sides have to play to their potential to win,” said
Shakib Al-Hasan. “However, since we know the conditions
well it gives us a slight advantage. For the past two years or
so we have played some really good cricket at home.”
Bangladesh have won seven of its last eight one-day
games at the Sher-E-Bangla stadium, Mirpur.
Bikash Mohapatra is a member of the India Abroad team
covering the World Cup
Destiny’s problem child
The controversy surrounding the
Pakistan team is a thing of the past.
The string of mediocre results in
the recent past is best forgotten.
The loss of three key players, who
were banned for spot fixing is not a
problem any more. As regards the
delay in the appointment of the
captain, well, forget it.
If Waqar Younis is to be believed,
what matters most now is what lies
ahead for his team — the World
While experts can be forgiven for
stacking the odds against Pakistan
and labeling it as a team that can at
most cause an upset or two, Waqar
believes his side has more quality
than is perceived.
Bolstering the Pakistan coach’s
belief is his side’s recent success — a
series win in New Zealand as well
abilities of substitute Junaid Khan.
Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi, left,
during training in Dhaka, February 12
ANDREW BIRAJ/REU TERS
as a good showing in the opening
warm-up game against
“We are pretty happy with the
performance so far,” said Waqar.
“We had a superb series in New
Zealand. Overall, it’s been good
and, hopefully, it should stay like
Asked about captain Shahid
Afridi’s comment that veteran fast
bowler Shoaib Akhtar may have a
limited role to play at the World
Cup, Waqar was forthcoming and
“We played him in New Zealand
recently and he improved in patch-
es,” he explained. “I think it is
important for him to get into full
throttle before we get him to play.
But we are working with him.
(Bowling coach) Aaqib Javed and
me are trying to get him into his
rhythm before the tournament
With injury ruling out the reliable
Sohail Tanvir, the Pakistani attack
suddenly looks less lethal. How-
ever, Waqar has ample faith in the