Rohit Reshammiya Hashmi
Just as the unpredictable Pakistan clinched a 8 wickets victory over the unbeaten host nation England, now the stage of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 is all set for the invigorating Bangladesh to face India in the 2nd semifinal.
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza & top gun Tamim Iqbal are of the opinion that there’s neither pressure on them nor their team.
”No pressure at all. Pressure keno thakbe? It’s going to be just another game… Eta toh cricket, aar kichhu na (It’s all about only cricket),” Mashrafe told a Kolkata daily at the Hyatt Regency. He was interacting briefly on Tuesday regarding their encounter against India.
Around the same time, in the afternoon, the Tiger opener in solid form Tamim Iqbal, also spoke to the reporters. ”I’m relaxed… As for pressure, that is on them (India) I suppose. Amader upore kono pressure nai,” Tamim, who knocked a ton & almost a second & thereafter got himself in the Champions Trophy Best XI, expressed.
Tamim’s thrashing of a solid 51 in the World Cup 2007 had India road out of that competition. In 2015, Bangladesh made the World Cup quarter finals for the first time. Two & a half years later they are now the first time semifinalist in a major ICC tournament.
While the players from the Tigers’ brigade are all fit & available for selection, bowling coach Courtney Walsh is having some fitness issues himself. Meanwhile, Virat Kohli & his men arrived in Birmingham in the afternoon after spending an extra day in London.
”It will be a strong contest. They (Bangladesh) are first time up for the semifinal with some real good cricket on their side. We have to be thoroughly cautious. I think our unit have had a great comeback after the Sri Lanka match. We have to maintain the same rhythm in the semifinal as well,” Indian skipper Kohli concluded at the press conference.
Chandika Hathurusingha, Bangladesh’s head coach spoke to the media at Edgbaston on Tuesday afternoon said as well. ”The players have good skills and, over the years, we have covered our bases. The players aren’t short on belief, though we need to play more against the top teams away from home in future,” said Hathurusingha.
On being asked about if the revenge element is there following the no-ball controversy (involving Rubel Hossain & Rohit Sharma) in the 2015 World Cup quarter final, he answered, ” Not at all. We’re up against a good team.”
He further asserted, ”The players are in a relaxed mood & taking it as just another game, but at the same time we are aware that this is more than a very big game. This is a very big opportunity for the players & us in the support staff. It’s a big opportunity for the players to express themselves.”
In a talk show at the Star Sports network, some of the former Indian Cricketers were heard to appreciate Bangladesh’s achieve. ”In a tournament where teams like Australia, New Zealand & South Africa have got knocked out, there the progress of Bangladesh to the semifinal definitely defines them as a well-balanced resurgent force. So India better watch out,” advised Sunil Gavaskar.
”Bangladesh is an immensely improved side now since long. Qualifying for the knockout round of the Champions Trophy proves how competitive they are now among the top teams of world cricket. Looks like it will be a neck to neck fine contest,” said Ravi Shastri at the same talk show a day later.
The weather forecast indicates no chances of rain yet. So, fans round the globe can set aside their worries regarding the rain interruption for a while.
Kumar Dharmasena & Richard Kettleborough will fit into the on-field umpires’ boots while Nigel Long will be the third umpire. Chris Broad will take up the responsibility as match referee.
Although on the social media & publications it seems as a fierce battle, but it’s one moment where all hearts will blend into the thought of a single person, who composed the national anthems of both the nation.
Coverage starts at 15:20 BDST & 14:50 IST.
BANGLADESH:- Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Sabbir Rahman, Mushfiqur Rahim (Wicket-Keeper), Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah Riyad, Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Mashrafe Mortaza (Captain), Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman.
INDIA:– Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (Captain), Yuvaraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Wicket-Keeper), Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah.