Bangladesh inspires; but we must pray for India’s survival
Nepal could also beat Team India in West Indies! What I’m more concerned with is the attitude of ICC towards the other cricket playing nations like Kenya (which made it to semi-finals in the last World Cup), Ireland, Scotland, or any other teams like Saudi Arabia, Nepal and so on. They don’t want to promote cricket in real sense. If India can’t make it to Super8 phase- there will be nothing to watch in this cricket.
“After India's shock defeat to Bangladesh, skipper Rahul Dravid admitted he misread the pitch but also minced no words in criticising his famed batsmen for the dismal show.
"I looked at the wicket in the morning and felt it was a lot drier than we had come to expect in the Caribbean. We thought it would get progressively slower and useful to spinners which it did actually.
"I don't think other members of the team felt differently about the pitch either. We all felt that it could be difficult in the first 40-50 minutes of batting but would then help the batsmen. But it was a lot damper."
India was bundled out for 191 in 49.3 overs. Bangladesh won with five wickets in hand in the Group 'B' match.
Indians were outclassed by Bangladesh in every department of the game and found their World Cup ambitions in tatters at Queen's Park Oval, ironically the venue where India's best moments in the Caribbean have happened over the years.
"Our batting was bad throughout. It is not as if we haven't recovered from poor start in the past. Still the way Sourav and Yuvraj had set about repairing the middle, we could have ended up with 30-40 extra runs.
The worst part of the batting came when India slipped from 157-4 to 159-9 in the space of 15 balls.
"Those two wickets falling in quick succession set us back badly," Dravid said.
Dravid was all praise for the manner in which Bangladesh performed, specially for man-of-match Mashrafee Mortaza as well as their daring seventeen-year-old opener Tamim Iqbal who razed the Indian attack to score a bold 51 off 53 balls that set the run chase.
"Mortaza actually bowled very well up front. He bowled in very good areas and asked some difficult questions.
"Tamim then batted bravely when Bangladesh chased and it helped them in their chase," said Dravid in response to a question that teams in 50-50 situation sometimes end up committing hara-kiri by batting timidly.
Dravid admitted it was a shock for all other members of the side but refused to believe that the performance was due to lack of effort.
"When wickets were falling and we were gathering in the middle, I could see how keen were the boys to do well. It was not for want of effort.
"We now have to recover and do our best. I don't think there is any confusion on what we need to do. We need to win both the remaining games of the group and hope that other results also fall our way."
(“Our batting was bad throughout: Dravid”, Hindu)
As if the defeat wasn’t enough in itself, right after India lost the game to what one Indian audience said to “minnows”, Star News took the lead to share the nation’s pain and anger. “Call us and give your opinion about Team India’s loss,” the host of the Indian news channel said as if telling people to call and express their anger. But honestly speaking, I was happy. It was like my dream come true. Since Dada’s comeback, we’ve been making earnest wishes- “Ganguly should make century, but Team India must lose.” But we were talking about ICC World Cup finale, but to see India lose to Bangladeshi team was a biggest upset and disgraceful. I’ll tell you why- if India loses then the joy of cricket will evaporate from the South-Asian sub-continent. God! What to enjoy when Star News isn’t there! Without the whole Indian cricket drama, I’d better say that cricket has no future at all.
“Arey, sukar kijiye. Ham log Pakistan ki tarah to gamese bahar nahi huye hain. Hum abhi bhi hope kar sakte hain,” one audience called to say after finding some relief in the Pakistani tragedy. I couldn’t watch the very match, and when I woke up at around 3:50 am last night, I switched on the TV. Ah! The game was over. So, I switched to Indian news channel. “Bharatne Bangladesh ko haraya” (India beats Bangladesh) was the flash-headline. NO! Then I realized it was- “Bharatko Bangladeshne Haraya!” (India beaten by Bangladesh!). Then, the talk about scores, performance and swearing! The next two hours were more exciting than the game (since I couldn’t watch the game which I knew would have been very exciting soon after India’s batting order was crumbing one by one. BTW- it’s due to load-shedding again!) I don’t believe that India lost 5 wickets for just 2 runs in space of 15 balls. But Ganguly (66) and Yubraj (47) were impressive, while the brilliant partnership of 32 runs between the tail-enders Zaheer Khan and Patel only looked some decent in the end.
However, don’t blame Team India or Pakistani batsmen for failing to do magic with their bats! If Team Nepal was in the World Cup, and that too in West Indies ground- which is slow and a lot more favorable to bowlers, Nepal could have also done wonders. Particularly, the level of competition between India and Bangladesh or Ireland and Pakistan was same due to the very feature of the pitch.
What I’m more concerned with is the attitude of ICC towards the other cricket playing nations like Kenya (which made it to semi-finale in last World Cup), Ireland, Scotland, or any other teams like Saudi Arabia, Nepal and so on. They don’t want to promote cricket in real sense. Always the same eight countries (Australia, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, West Indies, Sri Lanka, England) and other two largely underestimated teams like Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. I agree that ICC has promoted Sri Lankan team since it’s current avatar about 18 years ago, but at least they should have made arrangements for promoting other cricket playing nations too. Do you expect Scotland to do wonders against the world champions at once? If only there would have been scheduled matches between all those 16 countries that are participating in this World Cup, it’d really have elevated the status of world cricket.
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