Destiny in our hands, we’re ready to go
The tournament has finally 'started' for us and it feels great to be playing three games in the space of eight days - we finally have the chance to build some momentum and get on a roll. Jacques Kallis writes.india Updated: Mar 18, 2011 23:39 IST
The tournament has finally 'started' for us and it feels great to be playing three games in the space of eight days - we finally have the chance to build some momentum and get on a roll.
People talk about the pressure India feel because of the weight of expectations, but not many mention the same thing when it comes to Bangladesh. In many ways, I think the pressure is greater in this country.
The atmosphere will be unforgettable, I know for certain. The home side has to win to reach the next round and their supporters will be delirious with hope and expectation.
They will live and breathe every ball along the way, every run and dot ball will be cheered as though it's the match-winner.
I have confidence in the World Cup authorities and the security arrangements but I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought about the possibility of some crowd unrest if the match doesn't go Bangladesh's way.
It's one thing to have 20,000 in the stadium but it adds a different dimension when you have another quarter of a million people on the streets outside! We heard that England weren't able to leave for four hours after their loss. Goodness knows how long they would have been forced to wait had they won.
It might be the first time that England supporters will be cheering for a South Africa victory.
There is so much at stake for both Bangladesh and England but that won't have the slightest baring on how we prepare and go about our business. To be honest, professional cricket is a hard and unforgiving business and you need to make sure your fate is in your own hands as much as possible.
Had we lost to India, we would be the ones sweating over whether we'd qualify for the quarterfinals. We know what it feels like and we're happy that it's not us doing the worrying this time.
We cannot afford to think about the consequences of winning and losing for other teams. It has not been discussed and I wouldn't be surprised if half the team doesn't have an idea of the permutations for other teams in the group, except that Bangladesh must win to go through to the next round.
Back to full strength
Hopefully, Imran Tahir will be fit again after his enforced rest and AB's back will have loosened up giving us a full squad of 15 to choose from.
Finally, although most people would term us favourites to win the game, we are under no illusion on how difficult it is to win in Dhaka. You only have to look at the scorecards from our previous matches to see how hard we have been made to work, every time.