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capslock
March 11, 2007, 11:25 PM
Will Bashar’s smile sink a million hearts?
Ajay S Shankar

Posted online: Monday, March 12, 2007 at 0000 hrs http://www.indianexpress.com/res/images/print_icon_1.gifPrint (http://www.indianexpress.com/printerFriendly/25385.html)http://www.indianexpress.com/res/images/email_icon_1.gif Email (http://www.indianexpress.com/story/25385.html#)

With a legacy of upset wins, most recently over Black Caps, Bangla boys target Team India next


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Ajay S Shankar
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</td></tr></tbody></table> MONTEGO BAY: There's something unnerving about that shy smile, something you can’t put a finger on. There’s something sinister behind the modest, dignified answers, something you can’t really decipher. But yes, you get the feeling that something is about to happen.
It’s a smile that lulled one of the world’s best captains, New Zealand’s Stephen Fleming, to walk into a carefully laid trap a few days ago.
“At 34 for four, they started to panic,” he smiles again. It sinks in finally, this is a smile that could destroy India’s World Cup barely before it has even started.
Ask Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar — and he will, well, smile again.
“Who knows what will happen on March 17, but one thing is sure, we are not going to give up, at any stage,” he says, hours after he had gritted his way through a mega press conference of captains, blinking hard under the spotlight.
“We know what India are capable of, we are well aware. You have Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag. And Sourav Ganguly, the biggest star for us over there, is back. They are all big names and we know what we are up against. But this is the World Cup, we have done it before,” Bashar told this paper.
Of course, they have done it before. Spectacularly, against Pakistan in 1999. Against Australia. Even India, in between.
And the big difference this time, says Bashar, is the presence, the guiding hand of a coach the team swears by. It’s an interesting thought, the way Greg Chappell and Dav Whatmore have gone about their business in this part of the world.
Chappell landed here with those ‘six thinking hats’, the Chappellway, and then was forced to quickly realign his frequency to match the Indian bandwidth.
And yet, the line is sometimes disrupted by static, where he tends to lose the link with some of the senior players, and remains frustrated when some of the younger players fail to hook up.
But Dav Whatmore, the man who famously plotted Sri Lanka’s stunning 1996 campaign, says he is an arms-around-the-shoulder man.
“Look, you are nodding your head at what I am saying. But that doesn’t mean I am convinced that you understand. I keep at it. I keep talking to the players, put an arm around their shoulders, till I am sure that I am getting across. I take it step by step, from one little goal to another,” Whatmore told this paper.
“It’s not a big mystery. Often, it’s between two people, both convinced of what the other is saying,” says Whatmore.
The Bangladesh coach, though, wouldn’t even discuss the possibility of an upset win over India in their tournament opener. “Who wouldn’t want that. But I would like to focus more is on how we achieve those little goals that we have set,” says Whatmore.
“Maybe, you can say we are the best prepared for the conditions. We landed here on February 20, at least a week before all the teams, and got down to some physical conditioning, considering that we haven’t played much over the last 2-3 months.”
Of course, it’s not as if Bangladesh’s World Cup campaign hinges on the backroom work put in by the coach alone.
Captain Bashar says the coach, after all, can take the players only up to the edge of the boundary line. “We have the players, and all of them are eager to fight it out, every ball. On a given day, with two or three good performances from them, anything can happen,” says Bashar.
There’s the 34-year-old captain himself, who has played over 100 one-day Internationals; there’s Mohammad Ashraful, the youngest in the world to score a Test century on debut, who scored a matchwinning against Australia; there’s also Mashrafe Mortaza, among Bangladesh’s most experienced pacers with his right-arm fast-medium.
But then, Bashar knows that India is India. “They are all big players, it difficult to take names.” “But no,” he replies later, “we are not overawed, and we are not giving up.”...And please guys, no dumb comments like: 'Damn Indians are insulting our captain's smile!'

kalpurush
March 11, 2007, 11:29 PM
Will Bashar's Smile Sink a Million Hearts?
I hope not.......
Though it will be like mission impossible # 3 !

Hatebreed
March 11, 2007, 11:50 PM
That was actually a good read. I've always noticed a certain mystery behind Bashar's smile and his soft-spoken words, or may be he's really shy. Whatever it is I hope on March 17 it will decimate a billion hearts.

AsifTheManRahman
March 12, 2007, 12:29 AM
too bad the media and other teams are taking us so seriously. i'd rather have them caught off guard - would have been a lot easier to make them fall.

Orpheus
March 12, 2007, 12:35 AM
agree... beating NZ was a curse....

Farhad
March 12, 2007, 12:43 AM
Will Bashar's Smile Sink a Million Hearts?
I hope not.......
Though it will be like mission impossible # 3 !

I think he meant Indian Hearts.......Very good read btw. I think this is the game India will focus on. It might even be the most important match of all to them (in the first round). God knows, theyre sure theyll beat Bermuda. They just need one more win, and its going to be much easier to topple us over than the Sri Lankans....

PoorFan
March 12, 2007, 12:44 AM
I started to feel,, as if NOW is the peak of our fame in this WC, only to go down from ...

cricman
March 12, 2007, 01:34 AM
Habibul has carried himself very well with the media being diplomatic and confident at the same time so has Dravid. I know for a fact that at least 30% of BC hates that smirk hablu has on all the time, but shouldn't the title be Will Bashar's Smile Sink a Billion Hearts? or Will Bashar's Smile sink 140 millon hearts?

gatekeeper
March 12, 2007, 02:35 AM
Good find Capslock, very well written article.

I am afraid though that all this talk of an upset aganst India is not good for our team. Aren't we a tad overconfident?

mac
March 12, 2007, 05:45 AM
Nice post. Close up smile of Hablu!

Rabz
March 12, 2007, 05:56 AM
i think the media is tryin to put the pressure back on us now here...
hmm..hm.... i smell conspiracy....
giving us a bit of the limelight and pressure they endure all the time is a way of testing us..its upto us to see if he manage to pass or fail...
its like..."hey boys.. welcome to the big league..but can you handle the pressure..?? lets see"... there u go...busk under the flashlights..and we'll met on the 17th...

very very good move by the press...esp the indians and the international ones...

i say...
rise to the occasion tigers...
and make the world feel ur presence

Sovik
March 12, 2007, 06:06 AM
nice article. was fun to read

akabir77
March 12, 2007, 09:10 AM
Listen India never plays better when in pressure actually they choke. that's why they couldn't win most of the finals they were in. SO I am loving this. More media coverage more afraid they r gonna get.

serenity
March 12, 2007, 09:24 AM
nice one! impressive !

kalpurush
March 12, 2007, 09:30 AM
I think he meant Indian Hearts.......Very good read btw. I think this is the game India will focus on. It might even be the most important match of all to them (in the first round). God knows, theyre sure theyll beat Bermuda. They just need one more win, and its going to be much easier to topple us over than the Sri Lankans....

The way an Indian wrote....I thought he was a Bangladeshi!;) :-D

ialbd
March 12, 2007, 09:38 AM
a good read indeed, but eto international media lime light, very uncomfortable too..

bharotio journalists speaking well of us? notun kono ploy naki....

Tigers_eye
March 12, 2007, 10:07 AM
As HB and cricman have already said, the smile will sink a billion peoples' heart. While a Million+ peoples' heart would be overflowed by the myterious smile after the match on 17th. (+ is for the SLans, Aus'ans, SA'ans, and rest of the world. )

too bad the media and other teams are taking us so seriously. i'd rather have them caught off guard - would have been a lot easier to make them fall.
There will be a difference in the smile. Against NZ it was a simple one. Against India, it will be a vicious one. They know we are coming. No where to hide. Maan ijjot shob lutey nibey smile.

Navarene
March 12, 2007, 10:09 AM
nice one! impressive !
...and what reverie of thought has unruffled your infallible mind to find it impressive? Define piliz :smug: :waiting:

akabir77
March 12, 2007, 10:17 AM
there is James Bond movie name A View to a kill. so bashar is our new bond A smile to a KILL.

serenity
March 12, 2007, 10:56 AM
...and what reverie of thought has unruffled your infallible mind to find it impressive? Define piliz :smug: :waiting:

partam na..

buijha lon.. :-/

allrounder
March 12, 2007, 11:11 AM
may be building the bubble big enough to burst.

BangladeshCricket
March 12, 2007, 03:59 PM
or may be it's directed towards us...sink million of BD ppl's heart like us.
India is so far ahead just because of their match preparation which we were deprived. Even Tikolo said that these big ICC teams put us down by not allowing us to play with big teams.

BangladeshFan
March 12, 2007, 04:42 PM
well bashar smile or any bashar quotes dont have any significance. most of the decisions are made by DW, bashar is really the "hablu" in the team, when he actually takes decisions on field he usually comes short of imagination.

all these talks of possible upsets are causing goods to Ind ( and Sl), from being underdogs they are trying to push us on ascendency and we are more likely to under perform then. :( our players must remember, Ind and Sl have lot more match winners and can blaze us away if they perform.

shovon13
March 12, 2007, 04:47 PM
well bashar smile or any bashar quotes dont have any significance. most of the decisions are made by DW, bashar is really the "hablu" in the team, when he actually takes decisions on field he usually comes short of imagination.



i disagree. i think bashar plays a huge role in our team chemistry, and in keeping the young ones in sync.

TheWatcher
March 12, 2007, 05:08 PM
If we can manage to go to super eight ahead of India, that will really cause a landslide. All those bookies will suffer a huge loss; broadcast media will suffer huge losses in India, USA, and Canada; Couple of Indian fans will probably commit suicide; all those Indian students in American and Canadain Universities have to miss school for a week, atleast :-D

Murad
March 12, 2007, 05:39 PM
If we can manage to go to super eight ahead of India, that will really cause a landslide. All those bookies will suffer a huge loss; broadcast media will suffer huge losses in India, USA, and Canada; Couple of Indian fans will probably commit suicide; all those Indian students in American and Canadain Universities have to miss school for a week, atleast :-D

very true...
im waiting for that....

Protic
March 12, 2007, 06:00 PM
With all these hypes around.. im kinda nervous.. all these attention all of a sudden. If bangladesh loses Indias gonna go like " another minnow crushed by india " and if they loses..im sure they are gonna point out how bad their players' played not how good the bangladeshis were.

Shehwar
March 12, 2007, 06:12 PM
'Damn Indians are insulting our captain's smile!'

pagol-chagol
March 12, 2007, 08:24 PM
That smile is so naive, the Indians can't imagine there is nothing behind it. Let them overanalyze it. By the time they realize there is no thinking behind that smile, it'll be too late. Mwahahahahahahaha!

Sam
March 13, 2007, 12:01 AM
I think he meant Indian Hearts.......Very good read btw. I think this is the game India will focus on. It might even be the most important match of all to them (in the first round). God knows, theyre sure theyll beat Bermuda. They just need one more win, and its going to be much easier to topple us over than the Sri Lankans....
Yes, it is. His smile is going to break millions of Indian hearts, insha'Allah on 17th March. It should be a gift to the Nation on the Independence Day

Duck
March 13, 2007, 01:24 AM
This is nothing but just buttering us and throw us in the complacency and overconfidence, so that we think that "ki honurey?" (what a big fish I am!)

We are just the underdog (or the undertiger!) :)
Win against NZ has backfired! IND is cautious then ever! Crap. Now we have to give our 200% on March17th.

BanglaCool
March 13, 2007, 03:15 AM
Smile! You are on Candid Camera.

Mr-khan
March 13, 2007, 03:47 AM
'Damn Indians are insulting our captain's smile!'
Not true.They are afraid of his Lajuk smile.Lajuk hasi is always rohossomoy.
Check here
http://www.jaijaidin.com/details.php?nid=1890

karimjay.
March 13, 2007, 03:56 AM
Damn Indians are insulting our captain's smile!

WarWolf
March 13, 2007, 01:38 PM
too bad the media and other teams are taking us so seriously. i'd rather have them caught off guard - would have been a lot easier to make them fall.

I guess beating NZ was a good move. Media got cautious about us. We are considered as a dark horse. Bangladesh has a big goal. But not much to loose. Where other big teams have a lot to loose if they r beaten against us. This is the positive thing for us. If they r in pressure in some stage of the game, this would create additional pressure inside them. The fear of getting beaten to BD will come to play that time. And I am really happy to find out that BD started to play some mind games also. If you notice carefully you will find that Bashar comes in front of media everyday with some positive statement. This is just to create pressure. Lately our team management also started to make some positive move. May be all the comments he made will be thorwn on the face of Bashar if they fails. But still I like this move.