Bangladesh Eye Another India Upset
Saturday, 06 June 2009

Bangladesh will look to repeat the success they enjoyed against India in the 2007 World Cup when the two sides lock horns in the ICC World Twenty20 at Trent Bridge, Nottingham on Saturday.

On that occasion the Tigers forced their mighty opponents into submission at the preliminary round of the showcase event in Trinidad. And the very nature of cricket's newest format suggests Bangladesh could spring another surprise as West Indies found out to their peril at the New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.

Ashraful said on Friday the spirit in the side reminded him of the mood prior to the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies when the Tigers knocked India out of the competition.

"I remember that each and everyone in the team believed that we could beat them and we did. I could feel that energy before the match and even when we were warming up at Port of Spain. We will give it our best shot tomorrow knowing that in this form of the game any side can beat the other."

However, the India side of 2009 may prove a hard nut to crack as the most of their players are battle-hardened having come through a tough Indian Premier League. But Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful and vice-captain Mashrafee Bin Mortaza, who both spent much of their time on sidelines for their respective sides in the IPL, will want more than ever to trip India up as they bid to confirm a Super Eight place before Bangladesh play Ireland two days later.

Having arrived in England early, Ashraful and company played five warm-up matches, of which they went down to Australia, Sri Lanka and New Zealand but not before showing their spirited displays that must have lifted their confidence.

"We ran top sides like New Zealand, Australia and Sri Lanka very close in the warm-ups and if we hadn't made small mistakes here and there then we would have won all three. The boys are really pumped up for tomorrow's (Saturday) game. Everyone is fit and raring to go," said the Bangladesh skipper.

Bangladesh reached the Super Eights of the inaugural World Twenty20 in South Africa in 2007 after scoring a surprise win over the West Indies, and Ashraful hoped his team can do it again.

To repeat the Trinidad feat, the team management will definitely bank on top order -- Tamim Iqbal, Junaed Siddique, Ashraful and Shakib Al Hasan -- whose run rate in the first six overs (power-play), is higher than India, even Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

Left-handed opener Tamim, whose 51 off 53 deliveries in Trinidad set up the run chase on way to beat India, will again no doubt have to show the way with his stylish destroying approach, but he must need to be careful of staying long at the middle.

Tamim was also aware of it and wanted to do something in the tournament.

"I'm getting the starts but I need to go on and continue my innings longer," Tamim was quoted as saying by Reuters. "I'm feeling confident and if I can bat for 15 overs against India I know it will be good for our team."

The Bangladesh captain, however, expects something special from Mashrafee.

"Masrafee has always done well against India and has won us matches against them .He has been our best player against India both with the bat and ball. Our team has always found that something extra while facing India."

Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons said that they were very relaxed about the game, but didn't want to lose the game.

"I think everyone knows that we are dangerous at any time. We have some potential match-winners and one of them is sitting here (Mohammad Ashraful), at any form of the game but our consistency has not been there. We don't want to lose this game, we want to win it but we are the underdogs and we are very relaxed about the game. We want to put our best foot forward and put them under some pressure," said Siddons.

The Tigers have decided to wait till the team meeting tomorrow morning to finalise the XI against India.

The Twenty20 generally follows go all out from the beginning or keep wickets in hand and launch an attack at the end and Bangladesh's approach suggests the first one with its nature and if Bangladesh opening duo can perform accordingly, then something can be achieved against India.

Apart from them, down the order Ashraful and Shakib will be in main focus before Mahmudullah Riad, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mashrafee come in to the middle.

On the other hand, India have been sweating on the fitness of their key players hard-hitting opener Virender Sehwag and pacer Zaheer Khan, both suffering from shoulder injuries, and may miss Saturday's match and Bangladesh should avail the opportunity.

However, the likes Gautam Gambhir, Yuvaraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Yousuf Pathan are good enough for Bangladesh although the Indian captain seemed worried over his bowling attack, which could not do well in the beginning as well as at the end.

Rohit Sharma, who came in for Sehwag to blaze a 53-ball 80 in a warm-up match on way to India's nine-wicket win over Pakistan, proved a point that the absence of Sehwag would not affect them much.

After the match against Pakistan, Indian captain Dhoni hinted that he would likely to play two specialist spinners, who are considered to play vital roles in the tournament.


Comments Add New
reader |2009-06-08 23:04:12
Who ever wrote this article, looked pretty much sure of upset. sorry..but indian team of 2009 is not same as 2007. these guys are talented, thinkers and fearless.

problems with bangladesh.
- too much confidence
- rackless shots
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