‘Was busy watching Tendulkar, Dravid and Ganguly’: When Bangladesh batsman was left starstruck by India’s Big Three
Bangladesh batsman Tamim Iqbal scored a belligerent half-century during the World Cup match against India in 2007, but before he walked out to bat, the opening batsman admits he was left starstruck knowing he was sharing a cricket field with the big three of Indian cricket – Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly. “The moment I was playing the World Cup 2007 match against India, I was too busy watching Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly. I was just watching them. I was too happy to be playing in the presence of these legends,” Iqbal told Sanjay Manjrekar in a videocast hosted by ESPNCricinfo.
India had scored 191 batting first, and in response Tamim got Bangladesh off the blocks with a quick-fire half-century at the top. Tamim and Mushfiqur Rahim added 45 runs for the second wicket with the wicketkeeper batsman hitting a half-century himself. Even though Tamim was dismissed, Rahim joined allrounder Shakib Al Hasan for an 84-run partnership that took the game away from India.
The win was Bangladesh’s first over India at a World Cup and one that Tamim says injected self-belief within the team and the nation’s people.
“When they scored 190, we knew we had a chance. I went to bat and I faced Zaheer Khan. I thought to myself will I be able to face a bowler who bowls at 140 kph; the first ball he bowled, somehow I managed to defend that; next ball I smashed for four and from there I got some confidence,” Tamim added.
“I was just too happy playing against my heroes; the win against India in the 2007 World Cup was a great thing for Bangladesh cricket; it was great for both players and fans, the win gave hope to our people that our team can do something.”