Friday, July 19, 2024

Cricket rules

All eyes on Mirpur as Bangladesh take on favourites India in World Cup opener today
The wait is over. The battle begins today.
Normally in every tournament, the final is billed as the match to watch. But when Bangladesh will take on India in the opening match of the ICC Cricket World Cup at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur today, it will be akin to any final.
The opening match of the 2011 edition of cricket’s biggest show has generated a lot of buzz, mostly due to this fixture having a stake in history and the fact that the countries are next-door neighbours.
A full house is expected and tickets have all been sold out. And without a doubt, millions of cricket fans across the world will be sitting in front of the TV to see how the match transpires.
Following a gala opening ceremony, the world will be looking forward to watching how Bangladesh transforms their grand opening success onto the pitch when the highly anticipated battle gets underway from 2.30 pm at the newly decorated “Home of Cricket” in Mirpur.
Since the fixture was set, this battle took centre stage. Not only the media, but the cricket fans as well as the pundits have been showcasing huge interest in the game. Understandably there have been justifiable reasons behind the fervour and it is mainly because of the valiant effort of the Tigers at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain four years back, when a five-wicket defeat wrote the fate of the formidable Indian team in the 2007 tournament.
Which is why the main question doing the rounds was whether Shakib Al Hasan’s men can repeat the act against Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s troops?
Indian skipper Dhoni played down what happened four years back while he was talking in the pre-match press briefing at Mirpur yesterday, but the smart money is on the fact that the Indian team is still haunted by the nightmarish defeat.
“We haven’t thought about it but definitely we would not like to see a repeat of it [the loss to Bangladesh],” said the India skipper.
There are other reasons why this match has been so hyped. On paper, India are hot favourites for the tournament, with their formidable batting line-up able to put any bowling attack to the sword and their bowling, with a variety of spin options able to dictate under any circumstances.
But despite that, the Tigers have received a lot of attention after portraying an incrementally positive impression over the past two years and they are now regarded as a team who can beat any other on their day, especially if the game is played in their own den.
The Indian captain himself praised the Bangladesh spin attack but the onus will be on the inexperienced pace attack and it will be interesting to see how they handle the Indian batsmen. The Bangladeshis will also have to bat well and ensure that not too much rests on the shoulders of dashing opener Tamim Iqbal and captain Shakib in the middle order. And they also need to soon sort out their worries with the batting Powerplay.
The expectation is also high with the Tigers following their recent outstanding success against New Zealand but Bangladesh captain Shakib yesterday told a packed press conference that his boys are ready to tackle the pressure.
“The guys are ready and the atmosphere is like that we are going to play just another game. Our main focus is to play our own game,” said a confident Shakib.
Since there has been a lot of hype around the game, everybody would like to see a ‘good game’, a fact that both Dhoni and Shakib echoed through the press meet.

 

Via: The Daily Star

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