Only few took a note of the comment when during the pre-match interviews when Sehwag said the opening match of World Cup 2011 is about revenge against Bangladesh, who were responsible for India’s exit in last World Cup. With his demolishing huge inning of 175, he proved how serious were his comments.
Victory for India Expected
For the record, the hosts India and Bangladesh played the opening game of the 2011 World Cup. In the Group B, India is considered the strongest contender of the championship while reaching next round is considered a big challenge for Bangladesh as the group has other major contenders of the tournament South Africa and England, besides the unpredictable yet formiddable in past West Indies.
Anybody hardly earned a penny on guessing who could win the match. Yet, the only doubt was their last encounter when Bangladeshi Tigers knocked out the star-studded Indian team out of the World Cup at group stage. Proving the pundits correct, Indian team rocked Mirpur supported by the devastating inning of the ever-destructive Sehwag and composed inning by the youngster Kohli.
Bangladesh captain Shakib won the toss and sensing the due advantage and India’s weak bowling elected to field, overlooking the past wherein most of the matches have resulted into victory for team batting first. The chase put by his batsmen proved he was not wrong in that decision. Alas!! Sehwag had other plans.
Batting first, seasoned Indian openers Sehwag and Tendulkar started as if they were chasing a high total. As a result the run rate always encircled 6 runs per over. Tendulkar was run out in 11th over due to a childish confusion between both the openers. Both batsmen were busy ball-watching and realised too late that both were stranded on one end.
At 69/1 in 11th over, and the past loss against Bangladesh fresh as sunrise in the mind, Sehwag started the demolishing act, although not with the blinder mindset which he is generally famous for. The controlled inning of aggression and caution made his knock of 175, the 4th highest score in World Cup, very special. His changed approach towards batting must have sent shivers around remaining teams now. Gambhir also played calmly and looked set for big inning, until he was deceived by Mahmudallah’s straight delivery. That brought Kohli on crease.
Kohli provided the perfect partnership with Sehwag, completing his century in the last over of the Indian inning. Yusuf Pathan did arrive in 48th over. But by then, India hardly required any crackers. Mirpur crowd was already silent due to the blitzkrieg of Sehwag and Kohli. India made an imposing 375/4, the fifth highest score of the World Cup.
Tamim Iqbal and Imrul started as if they were playing a T20 match, completing 50 runs in the 4th over. But others failed to carry on the momentum. Their versatile allrounder captain, Shakib Al Hasan contribued with quick 55, yet 376 was a huge total to chase for the tigers, even if the Indian bowling did appear weak, as expected, specially Sreesanth, who might be forced to warm the bench in the next match due to his 53/0 in 5 overs.
India won comfortably in the end by 87 runs. Sehwag was declared Man of the Match.
Indian bowling should get some magical training, otherwise in every match Indian batsmen can not score 300 plus score. The way Indian bowlers bowled today it appeared that even 300 is not a defendable total.