Mumbai: On March 26, 1971 – Bangladesh was born. On Thursday, March 19, 2015 – a week before their 44th‘Independence Day’ – they have another renaissance moment. This time, in the world of sport, when they take on Team India in their first-ever quarterfinal appearance in a World Cup. Former captain Habibul Bashar, under whose leadership the Tigers defeated India in ICC World Cup 2007, says a collective performance is required to overcome the unstoppable Men in Blue.
“As a former captain and being a part of the team for a long time, it is a special feeling to see them come this far. They’re just two matches away from the final. But India is a strong side. They are playing a different brand of cricket altogether. Even their bowling (criticised earlier) and fielding have improved,” says Bashar.
“No single player can do this. To beat such a team, everyone needs to stand up and deliver,” he adds.
Holding the 42-year-old’s hands, youngsters like Mushfiqur Rahim, Mashrafe Mortaza and Shakib Al Hasan dared to dream. Under Bashar, Bangladesh attained their first Test win (against Zimbabwe) and also beat giants Australia and South Africa apart from India.
“When we beat India in 2007, we never had a plan. We knew they were a strong unit but we were more concerned about putting up our best performance. That worked for us. But once it happened, it took a long time for the feeling to sink in,” recalls Bashar.
The Tigers had bowled India out for 191 and chased it down in 48.3 overs with five wickets in hand. Only Sourav Ganguly (66) and Yuvraj Singh (47) shone with the bat for the Rahul Dravid-led side. Mortaza picked up four wickets.