Dhaka, Feb 10 (IANS) India will be under pressure because of its defeat in the last World Cup opener, Bangladesh’s opening batsman Tamim Iqbal has said ahead of next week’s tournament that his country is co-hosting.
“India will feel the pinch to beat Bangladesh in the opening match of the forthcoming World Cup because of their past bitter experience,” Tamim Iqbal said Wednesday.
India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are jointly hosting the event from Feb 19 to April 2.
India lost to Bangladesh in their previous World Cup opener in the West Indies, a result which subsequently threw them out of the competition in the group stage, he recalled.
Incidentally, India will open their campaign against Bangladesh in Dhaka’s Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium Feb 19.
“It will always work on their mind that they did not qualify for the second round of the last World Cup after losing to us in the opening game. So they will be under pressure, not us,” Tamim told mediapersons.
Tamim had played a key role in Bangladesh’s five-wicket win at Port of Spain in the West Indies with a blistering knock of 51 off 53 balls, which set the tone for Bangladesh in the tournament.
Tamim also has had a few other major innings against India in the recent past, including his Test’s best 151 in Dhaka in 2010, which would make him an obvious target of the Indian bowlers in the World Cup opener, the New Age newspaper said Thursday.
But Tamim said he has no particular fear for any bowler.
“We are not thinking about the India game differently. We have six matches in the group phase and we are planning for every match the same way.
“And I am also feeling no pressure. If I can play like the way I play, I have no reason to be afraid of any bowler in the world,” he said.
“What I know is that if I want to do well as a player, I have to improve every day. I have to turn my weak point into a strong point and I think I am doing it alright.”
“If I had two shots in 2007, now I have five shots. That’s an improvement. It is not the end of all, just a step forward and I think I have a long way to go. Everyday I am working on my weaknesses,” he added.
Bangladesh and India are in Group B along with England, Ireland, the Netherlands, South Africa and the West Indies.