‘India thought they’d get batting practice against us,’ Bangladesh’s Mushfiqur Rahim recalls 2007 World Cup match
Bangladesh wicketkeeper batsman Mushfiqur Rahim has said his knock against India in the 2007 World Cup went a long way in sealing his place in the team’s Playing XI. Rahim, who was into the 12th game of his career, scored an unbeaten 56 as Bangladesh upset India by five wickets in the eight World Cup match of Group B at Port of Spain.
Rahim, who was still trying to find his feet in international cricket, revealed he was given the opportunity of hitting the winning runs by senior pro Mohammad Ashraful. Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan and Rahim scored half-centuries as Bangladesh chased down India’s 191 with more than seven overs remaining to secure one of the team’s most memorable wins.
“During the innings break against India, I learned I was going bat at No. 3. I had very little time to think about it. It was India’s first match and they thought they would get some batting practice before their big games. It was a tacky wicket. Tamim [Iqbal] gave us a good start while I was settling in. Then I had a great partnership with Shakib [Al Hasan]. It made me quite relaxed to bat with two of my U-19 team-mates on the biggest stage,” Mushfiqur told ESPNCricinfo, while remembering some of the best knocks of his career.
“When I hit the winning runs, I couldn’t believe what was happening. I must thank [Mohammad] Ashraful bhai for giving me the chance to hit the winning runs. He could have done it against Zaheer Khan in the previous over. It took a while to sink in, but when we started to receive all the congratulatory messages, I understood we had done something big for the country.”
Rahim weighed in further on the match, saying the knock helped him realise he belonged at the international level, especially when there were people doubting his place in the squad since he had come in as the experienced Khaled Mashud’s replacement.
“There was a lot of pressure on me [before this innings]. Replacing Pilot bhai, someone who has served the Bangladesh team for a long time, was a big challenge. I thought I could get a chance if someone got injured, but I never expected to be the first choice. Until a dinner party attended by all the teams, where I saw greats like Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar, I hadn’t quite grasped what a World Cup was like,” he added.