People who landed here on Sunday would think things that were being written in the media in the build up to the World Cup opening ceremony and the first match against India, everything about the spontaneity Bangladesh has shown in welcoming the tournament, were all cooked up.
There was nothing unusual on the roads other than the regular weekday traffic. The thousands who had taken to the streets wearing Bangladesh colours and were running with the national flags were all gone. The Sher-e Bangla Stadium, which was virtually under siege till Saturday night, was pretty much deserted as Ireland went about their training. The Bangladesh team which was scheduled to train on Sunday afternoon cancelled their session, the manager saying the boys were 'still recovering'.
Virender Sehwag's ruthless batting has shattered the morale of quite a few bowling attacks in the past. But from the mood on Sunday, it seemed his match-winning 175 had shattered the morale of an entire nation.
Sehwag, who had suffered back spasms and knee trouble during his 175 on Saturday, was still limping when he boarded the team bus to the airport in the morning. There were no updates on Ashish Nehtra's back niggle that kept him out of the opening match, but manager Ranjib Biswal said there was nothing to worry about.
The best thing about this World Cup, MS Dhoni had said before the opening ceremony, was the format and fixtures. The format would give a chance to good teams to bounce back after an upset and still make it to the quarter-finals. The fixtures with long gaps between initial matches would give injured players time to recover. And this, he said, would be an advantage for India. India next play England in Bangalore only on Sunday.
MSD to National games
Dhoni left for Kolkata at four in the morning. He will be going to Ranchi from there as he had "some commitments to keep at the National Games", a team source said.