WC 2015 exclusive interview: We pray for Tamim Iqbal's form against India, says Habibul Bashar

Bengaluru, March 17: He was the captain of the victorious Bangladeshi cricket team in that match against India at Port of Spain in the 2007 World Cup. Eight years later, Habibul Bashar's home country is set to face India again in the quarter final of the World Cup at Melbourne on Thursday, March 19, 2015.

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Can Bangladesh repeat history? Bashar shared his thoughts with Oneindia over phone from Dhaka.


Oneindia: Can Bangladesh do it again?

Bashar: Why not? The game of cricket is always uncertain. We have beaten India after that 2007 World Cup as well. Our victory over them in the 2012 Asia Cup is still a fresh experience. India are a strong side this time. Their batting is always good. Even their bowlers are performing very good this time. Yes, India will be a difficult opponent but it is not impossible.

Oneindia: Did you expect Bangladesh to beat England or was it a pleasant surprise?

Bashar: At first we thought 275 was not enough and another 20-25 runs would have been handy. But our bowlers had done really well to get England all out. It is true that England didn't bat well in this World Cup but yet the victory had to be earned by our boys.

Bashar, 42, is one Bangladesh's most-successful captains and now a selector

Oneindia: Mahmuddulah is playing well in this World Cup. He has hit two back-to-back hundreds

Bashar: Mahmudullah was always a good batsman but he was not doing justice to his talent. Earlier, he used to bat lower down the batting order. But we decided to push him up the order and the move is paying off.

Oneindia: Sakib al-Hasan is another player who is doing good in this World Cup. Has playing in the IPL helped him?

Bashar: Definitely, yes. In IPL, the players get more exposure and get to know players from other countries and the experience has really helped Shakib grow as a player.

Oneindia: But Tamim Iqbal's form has been a worry for Bangladesh in this World Cup. He had played a big role in that 2007 win over India.

Bashar: True. We are sincerely hoping that Tamim regains his touch in this match. If the opening partnership pays off, then it becomes easier for the batsmen to follow. Bangladesh must have a good start against India if they fancy their chances.

Oneindia: Did the successful chasing of 300+ score against Scotland really boost Bangladesh?

Bashar: In a way yes. The good thing about this Bangladesh team is that it is doing well as a team. Someone or the other is doing the duty. The win over Scotland helped us for sure but the win over England was crucial.

Oneindia: India are playing very well in this World Cup

Bashar: Undoubtedly. They have some very good players and they have clicked as a unit.

Oneindia: Four Asian teams are in the quarter-finals of a World Cup being played in Australia and New Zealand. Are the pitches favouring the Asian sides or are they really playing well?

Bashar: All the four Asian sides are playing superbly in this tournament. Pakistan didn't have a good start but they slowly improved. Sri Lanka are always a good side. India have been growing from strength to strength and Bangladesh too are playing very well.

Oneindia: Will the World Cup return to Asia?

Bashar: Not impossible. It is difficult to predict in knock-out matches but if these Asian teams can get it right till the finals, then there is every possibility.

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