Skipper Sakib al Hasan had no regret in taking to the field first after winning the toss in the opening match of the World Cup at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Saturday.
India amassed a huge 370-4 in 50 overs with Virender Sehwag and Virat Kohli taking full advantage of a placid batting wicket each hitting a century. India later restricted the opposition to 283-9 to win the match with an 83-run victory.
‘I do not think I have made a mistake by choosing the field,’ Sakib told reporters at a post-match conference.
‘I thought we had better chances of winning if we could take two early wickets. The course of the game then could have been totally different. But our fast bowlers could not execute their plans and it was the main problem. I think that cost us the game,’ Sakib said. ‘In the second part, dew was a factor as they had three fast bowlers. We thought we could have a go at them as they are not good in doing reverse swing.’
He also hailed a brilliant Virender Sehwag knock of 175 to snatch the game away from the grip of Bangladesh.
‘I thought we could have bowled better but we gave away too many boundaries that cost us the game. On the other hand, Virender Sehwag played a really good innings and took the game away from us,’ Sakib said.
He also stood by his decision of not picking Mohammad Ashraful, the most experienced player of Bangladesh, in this crucial match. ‘Not really! I thought it was the best combination and that is why we have fielded this team.’
He however felt that Mashrafee bin Murtaza had been thoroughly missed but kept his faith in his fast bowlers to come up in the next matches.
‘He was not in the squad. So we cannot think of picking him. But if he had been here, it could have made a difference,’ Sakib said. ‘Our fast bowlers have also been bowling well for a year.
Today was not their day. I hope they will come back strongly.’
He also felt that the fast bowler Shafiul Islam needed to keep their nerves in this sort of a situation as there were minimal chances of getting away by making a mistake.
‘Perhaps he got a bit nervous but more than that he was not getting his rhythm. The wicket was very good to bat on and their batsmen are so good that there were little chances to get away by bowling loose balls,’ Sakib said.
But the captain was in all praise of his batman and told them that it was the right attitude to go with. He was impressed with Tamim Iqbal, who played a very slow knock in keeping with his reputation. ‘The plan was to play sensibly and properly. We knew that the wicket was good. So if Tamim or Junaed could have a go, we could post a big total. I think our batsman really batted well,’ Sakib said. ‘I think he batted really well and sensibly and when Imrul got out, he took the responsibility for playing the anchor role which I think is a very good sign.’
‘As far as batting is concerned I think we did pretty well. We also fielded well,’ Sakib said. ‘I think in power play we can do much better than this.’