Throwback: Bangladesh Shape Their Future with a World Cup win against India on this day in 2007

15 years ago, on this day Bangladesh script one of the biggest upsets in World Cups, against India

17th March is a big day in the history of both Bangladesh and Indian Cricket. It was the day which saw the Indian team go into turmoil as Bangladesh rejoiced, and found a team that is still carrying them. Coming into the game, Bangladesh picked a lot of young names in the squad, while India had some giants in the form of Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, Sourav Ganguly, and MS Dhoni. The Indian batting line-up looked solid, while the bowling had strong leaders in Zaheer Khan and Anil Kumble.

While the Indian team was in shambles before and after the game, Bangladesh were very clear. They strangled the Indian team in the powerplay, taking 3 wickets including that of Sachin Tendulkar in the first fifteen overs. In a puzzling and controversial decision, Sachin Tendulkar was at number four in the tournament, despite batting at the top-order before the tournament began.

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Mashrafe Mortaza started nicely. In 2007 he was still young, didn’t have too many injuries, and was very quick. His pace quickly put India on the back foot, and India struggled to recover. There was a fightback from Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh, but Ganguly’s knock of 66 off 129 sapped the momentum, and India ended with a paltry 191. Shakib Al Hasan also bowled a testing spell, finishing with economic figures, and claiming his place as the all-rounder of the side.

Mashrafe Mortaza finishes with four wickets

191 wasn’t a competitive score but in 2007 the Bangladesh team didn’t have enough experience in the batting line-up, and that left India with a small chance. Bangladesh needed a good start, and in search of a good start they found an opener who continues to carry the team, and lead the team fifteen years after the victory.

Scoring 51 off just 53 balls, Tamim Iqbal got the team off to a flier, and gathered a lot of momentum, setting up the chase nicely. However, following his wicket, there was another middle-order wobble. Bangladesh fell to 3-79, and the middle-order was left to do the work. With a fair amount of runs required, the situation helped Bangladesh unearth two more cricketers, out of which one turned out to become the nations best wicket-keeper and the other turned out to be the best player in Bangladesh’s Cricket History.

Their wicket-keeper, Mushfiqur Rahim batted through the innings, remained patient and made 56, remaining unbeaten as Bangladesh chased the target. Along with him, Shakib Al Hasan provided strong support, making a half-century as well, while involving himself in an 84-run partnership with Rahim.

Tamim Iqbal goes after Zaheer Khan

With both batters shepherding the chase, Bangladesh pulled off the tournament’s biggest upset. They outplayed India in all aspects and set themselves up for a spot in the Super eights. The tournament turned out to be a massive stepping stone in their history. They went on to create some magical moments in the World Cup, winning against England in 2011, knocking England out and making the World Cup quarter-finals in 2015, making the Champions Trophy semi-finals in 2017, and finally, competing hard and nearly making it to the semi-finals in a ten-team World Cup in 2019. The World Cup saw them beat South Africa in 2019 as well, and the team has certainly grown in the twelve-year period.

While the team grew, the win saw some brilliant players come out and carry the team through this period. The opener, who set the chase up is now Bangladesh’s captain in the one-day format, and is still their best opener. An aggressive batter back then, Tamim Iqbal has now curbed his instincts and is much more calculated, playing some smart knocks.

Mushfiqur Rahim showed a lot of maturity that day, but is now known for his cheeky shots and aggressive but street-smart batting. He is still a vital cog in all three formats along with Shakib Al Hasan.

The player of the match against India, Mashrafe Mortaza, went on to lead the side over the golden period which saw them qualify to the knockout stages in 2015 and the 2017 Champions Trophy. He also led a competive side in the 2019 World Cup, and is by far the best captain in Bangladesh’s cricket history.

Mushfiqur Rahim steers Bangladesh home with a patient fifty.

The third half-centurion, Shakib Al Hasan, is Bangladesh’s most valuable asset, and a captains dream. He can bat anywhere from three to five, and bowls all his overs, making him a multi-utility package. He has won countless games for Bangladesh and is easly the best thing that has happened to the national team. He may be in the middle of some issues regarding temperament, and fatigue, but his value in the team has never changed over the course of his career.

The 2019 World Cup was probably his peak as Shakib Al Hasan fought hard, and was easily the best all-rounder in the tournament. He made 606 runs in the tournament and took 11 wickets, contributing like a dream with both bat and ball. The tournament saw Shakib at his best as he almost took on the likes of Australia and England single-handedly despite mammoth totals ahead of him.

With these four, Bangladesh came a long way after the win in 2007, and are still making strong strides in World Cricket. They have built a strong team, and other cricketers have stepped up nicely. The golden generation is still around with only Mortaza not playing, and with a World Cup around the corner, it will be interesting to see what the team delivers, to add to the pile of success following the win in the 2007 World Cup.