India start WC campaign on perfect note: Sohail

Updated: Feb 20, 2011, 15:36 PM IST

Karachi: Former Pakistan captain and chief selector Aamir Sohail feels that India have made a perfect start to their cricket World Cup campaign and given a great
example of their batting strength in the opening match against Bangladesh.

India brushed aside co-hosts Bangladesh by 87 runs on Saturday after scoring a massive 370 for four including a masterful 175 from Virender Sehwag and 100 not out by Virat Kohli, with the pair putting on a 203-run partnership for the third wicket.

Sohail said that Bangladesh had lost the match at the toss having succumbed to the pressure of the occasion and the expectations of their partisan home crowd.

Sohail in his column for `The News` daily warned that the teams who have yet to play India can only hope to upset the World Cup favourites by restricting them to around 270 or 280.

"If the teams who are yet to come up against India find a way to restrict their batting to around the 280 mark, I strongly believe they can upset the favourites," Sohail said.

"If you look at the Indian side closely, you will find they need to improve their fielding and on occasions the bowling can be vulnerable on a decent pitch where they could go for runs," he said.

Sohail said that after being put into bat, the Indians started off like champions putting Bangladesh to the sword by gathering quick runs and proving captain Shakib`s decision incorrect.

"Virender Sehwag who recently said that he would be looking to bat for the full 50 overs, made his intent clear by playing some exquisite strokes and settled down to gather singles with his partners, before a mix-up with Sachin Tendulkar saw the little master run out by the length of the wicket.”

"The loss of his partner did not pressurise Sehwag as he took on the responsibility to produce a workman like effort in all respects, perfectly knowing when to rotate the strike to the younger mates, and hold back and then when to step up the tempo," Sohail noted.

Meanwhile, Pakistan`s 1992 World Cup winning team captain Imran Khan said on Geo Super channel that the dew factor had weighed heavily on the mind of Bangladesh skipper Shakib after winning the toss.

"Basically I think Shakib gambled on the dew factor but his bowlers were unable to bowl with discipline and line and length to restrict India to around 300.”

"I think the dew factor will still come into play in this tournament but batting will also become easier as the tournament progresses into the month of March. It is going to be hardwork for the bowlers and they will have to depend heavily on trying to reverse swing the ball," Imran said.

Former wicketkeeper-batsman Moin Khan said Sehwag had sounded a clear warning to other teams that he intents to last full 50 overs in this tournament.

"The Indian batting looks formidable and teams will have to be very careful working out bowling strategies against them. They should plan out something for Sehwag as he wishes to be there for full 50 overs," said Moin.

PTI