India seek revenge in WC 2011 opener vs Bangladesh

Tags: ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, India v Bangladesh 1st Match at Mirpur - Feb 19, 2011, India, Bangladesh

Published on: Feb 18, 2011

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India take on Bangladesh in the 2011 World Cup opener on Saturday with a chance to exact revenge for a shock loss in the previous edition four years ago.

India take on Bangladesh in the 2011 World Cup opener on Saturday with a chance to exact revenge for a shock loss in the previous edition four years ago.

Bangladesh ensured India's early exit in the first round of the 2007 tournament in the Caribbean and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is determined to avoid any repeat on the subcontinent.

Dhoni's men have won both their warmup games ahead of the 14-nation tournament and the manner of their crushing victory over New Zealand on Wednesday is just what the skipper wants to see this weekend.

"We have to replicate the effort of our intensity in our first match against Bangladesh," Dhoni said after India's famed batting lineup amassed a total of 360-5 as it routed New Zealand by 117 runs in Chennai.

A country of 1.2 billion is hoping Dhoni can lead the team to glory, just as he had led it out of the depths of despair in 2007 by taking a young side to the Twenty20 world title in South Africa.

A world champion in 1983, India will be co-hosting the championship for the third time. It made the semifinals on both previous occasions — in 1987 and 1996 — but the title is what his country expects from a well-balanced side.

The batting demolition of New Zealand in Chennai followed a 38-run victory over three-time defending champion Australia on Sunday in Bangalore, achieved thanks to a superb effort from spinners Piyush Chawla and Harbhajan Singh.

The pace attack led by Zaheer Khan may have to concede the bulk of the work to the slow bowlers, with several part-time options also at India's disposal, while there is a problem of plenty in the batting department.

"Who we play will depend on what the team's requirements are for particular conditions," Dhoni said.

The likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh and Yusuf Pathan are likely to flourish in conditions of the subcontinent and Dhoni himself warmed up for the opener with a whirlwind century against New Zealand.

Suresh Raina, who also got a 50 in that match, is the one likely to miss out on a berth immediately — with Dhoni hinting that Virat Kohli has a better chance of playing.

A second-string India side recently thrashed a New Zealand side 5-0 in a home one-day series and also gave a good account of itself in South Africa, where it narrowly lost 3-2 despite the absences of Tendulkar, Sehwag and Gambhir due to injuries.

India, which is in Group B along with South Africa, England, West Indies, Ireland, Netherlands and Bangladesh, will play all their remaining matches in India after the opener in Dhaka.

For Bangladesh, which gets to co-host the tournament for the first time, the ICC's 49-match, 43-day, 13-venue event is a chance to strengthen its reputation as a team on the rise.

Captain Shakib Al-Hasan, who is banking on spin during the upcoming matches, says the team is inspired and raring to play a World Cup in front of the home crowd.

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