Mirpur: The shocking defeat against Bangladesh in the World Cup four years ago will not have any impact now, according to Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni
who said the team will go into the tournament opener against the same opponents without any baggage of the past.
“Frankly, I have never thought about it, but we obviously don’t want a repeat,” Dhoni said on Friday.
Dhoni was a part of the Indian team led by Rahul Dravid and coached by Australian Greg Chappell, which suffered a humiliating five-wicket defeat at the hands of Bangladesh in their opening match that ultimately resulted in India’s ouster from the previous edition of the World Cup in the West Indies.
Admitting that this time the team is in a better frame of mind going into the cricket extravaganza, Dhoni said there was no extra pressure on the cricketers playing in the sub-continent.
“Being a co-host will always bring a lot of expectations. But we do not get bogged down by expectations,” said the wicketkeeper-batsman on the eve of the day-night clash at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium.
“The important thing is to do the process right. We always look to put more emphasis on the process, rather than on winning, and this is what has made us a successful team,” he added.
India certainly start as favourites tomorrow, having won 20 of their last 22 one-dayers against the Tigers but Dhoni refused to write-off their opponents.
“Bangladesh is a good side with three very good left-arm spinners. They rely a lot on spinners, especially in the sub-continent where slow bowlers get a lot of help,” said the skipper of the number one Test team and number two side in one-day format.
Going into the tie with two back-to-back victories over Australia and New Zealand in their warm-up games, Dhoni said, “The tournament already started for us with those practice matches. We have picked up the intensity and now look forward to our next game.”
“Like any other team, we want to begin our campaign on a winning note,” he said.
India are one of the most well-balanced sides in this World Cup with the duo of Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag opening the innings, followed by Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli adding to a top-heavy line-up.
Moreover, with the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Dhoni and the explosive Yusuf Pathan coming down the order, it can be considered as one of the most dreaded batting line-ups.
Harbhajan Singh can also come in handy as a lower-order batsman with two Test centuries in his kitty.
Predicting an extremely successful World Cup, Dhoni said, “If it is not successful in the sub-continent, it won’t be successful anywhere. One-day cricket is an ideal mix of Tests and Twenty20. These days not even 300 is a safe total.”