Flashback to May, 2007. India had just come out of the World Cup debacle and were in a state of shock. After the effigy burnings, backlash and public scrutiny, the team that eventually landed in Bangladesh was probably not in the right state of mind. Before the team was selected, there were even calls for seniors (including Tendulkar to be dropped), and when the team was named, the likes of Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh had been left out. Even though India were playing against the lowest ranked team in the world, some people believed that India were vulnerable and could even be defeated.
Coming back to January 2010 – things couldn’t be more different for India. With its new No. 1 ranking, India is a strong and confident side. And, although Sehwag sounded arrogant when he claimed that Bangladesh were an ordinary side, a lot of people knew he was probably right – there was no way India was going to lose.
But what happened at the end of day 1? India were struggling at 213/8, and quite relieved to take the bad light when it was offered to them. Not what you would have expected when India had raced away to 60-odd runs by lunch in just 13 overs.
Although India are currently ranked No. 1 in the world, they still aren’t the best team in the world – which I think they can become. For that, they need to start playing good cricket consistently, and a way to get out of tight situations…like the one they are facing today.
The match is far from over, and India can still recover – it promises to be an interesting Test…and I thought I’d never say that when India plays Bangladesh.