ICC Champions Trophy: Bangladesh start playing ugly ahead of semi-final vs India

first_imgBangladesh will meet defending champions India in the semi-final of the ICC Champions Trophy and understandably, there is plenty of excitement in the country. Long the minnows of world cricket, Bangladesh have etched their name on the global map thanks to their spirited players and their enthusiastic fans.When the Tigers play cricket, Bangladesh comes to a standstill. They are vocal, they are opinionated and like other sports fans rooting for their countries in major sporting spectacles, they are passionate.ALSO WATCHHowever, often, very often, that passion spills over and edges on the border of obscenity.An image has started circulating on social media (obviously from a Bangladesh fan) which shows a tiger draped in a Bangladesh flag pouncing on a dog wearing an India flag.India Today has decided to produce an edited version of the image which is derogatory and insulting to the tri-colour.Bangladesh fan and even their players have been a bitter lot since the 2015 World Cup quarterfinal defeat to India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Rohit Sharma’s stylish 137 and an aggressive 65 from Suresh Raina had helped India post 302/6 and Bangladesh responded with a mere 197, losing by a whopping 109 runs.However, the Bangladeshi fans, instead of celebrating a fabled moment in their cricketing history, chose to turn nasty and accused the authorities of siding up with India, then defending world champions and a powerhouse in world cricket. Bangladesh were convinced Rohit was out for 91 when he skied a waist-high full toss from Rubel Hossain and was caught at deep midwicket. However, the umpire ruled it a no-ball and TV replays later said it could have been a marginal call.advertisementBangladesh were convinced the world had got together to conspire against them but the truth is that Rohit added another 46 after that break and Bangladesh still lost by 109 runs. It would not have turned out any differently had Rohit walked back to the hut for 91, would it?But Bangladesh remain bitter to this day. So much so that a Bangladeshi newspaper posted a photo of Indian batsmen with their heads shaved and Mustafizur Rahman holding a barber’s knife, after the pacer had rocked the tourists with some superb bowling in a historic series win for the hosts. That moment soured a great cricketing feat and showed just how far Bangladesh could carry their ‘grudge’.Photo Credit: Twitter But the Bangladeshis were convinced it was the whole world against them. And it did not stop there.A photoshopped image on social media ahead of the Asia Cup T20 final between Bangladesh and India showed Taskin Ahmed holding MS Dhoni’s severed head, causing serious anger among Indian fans. But Dhoni had the last laugh when a few lusty blows from his bat dashed Bangladesh’s hopes in the title clash, reducing a few locals at the stands to tears.Photo Credit: TwitterAfter dramatically beating New Zealand by 5 wickets to reach the semi-finals of the ICC Champions Trophy, Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza said “It’s a big thing for our cricket. It is an opportunity for us but I want to request everybody not to think we will go all the way to win the title.”Bangladesh have already played down their chances , attempting to rub off any pressure that they might have ahead of the semi-final with India.But a few of their players and journalists feel India will have extra support and reiterated their stance that the Men in Blue cheated during the World Cup quarterfinals two years ago. The players reportedly feel the pressure would be on India and that Bangladesh have already exceeded expectations by making it to the last-four.And of course, there’s more. Bangladesh want to target Yuvraj Singh because they feel he is the weakest fielder and their strategy of putting India under pressure is to pick up a couple of early wickets to make the rest of the batting line-up vulnerable.With India registering a sound 8-wicket victory over No. 1 ODI team South Africa, the Asian giants will go into the semi-final as firm favourites to win the game and make it to the final.The Bangladeshis seem to be rattled by India’s strength, depth and intensity.Bangladesh seem to have forgotten that other than their spirited performance against a weakened New Zealand team, there have been other factors that have helped them reach the semi-final whereas India have made it ahead riding purely on their own merit.Bangladesh lost to England by a whopping eight wickets in their first match of the Champions Trophy and they were on the verge of losing their second game to Australia but the rain Gods blessed them with a washout. In their must-win game against New Zealand, Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah steadied Bangladesh’s ship after an early collapse and took the team to the semi-finals.advertisementIndia, on the other hand, started their Champions Trophy campaign with a resounding 124 run-win against arch-rivals Pakistan. However, a bad day in the office left them ruing a massive eight-wicket loss against Sri Lanka. In their do-or-die game against South Africa, India came out all guns blazing, absorbed every bit of the immense pressure and emerged triumphant.And don’t forget, India trounced Bangladesh by 240 runs at the Oval in the warm-up game ahead of the kick-start of Champions Trophy.Bangladesh will do well to remember that India thrive in such atmosphere, that their captain is always up for a good fight and the entire team likes to give it back as good as it gets. Still not convinced Bangladesh, go ask Australia.last_img

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