From protests on the road to twitter wars and tussles between passionate players as well as fans. Though not in the same league as the India-Pakistan tussle, India national cricket team’s matches against Bangladesh national cricket team has always produced its fair share of sparks
The 2015 World Cup quarterfinal against Bangladesh was evenly balanced when Rohit Sharma, on 90, turned a short-pitched ball to be caught. Umpire Ian Gould called a waist-high no-ball but Bangladesh fielders were livid.
TV replays suggested the decision was harsh. Rohit added 47 more runs to take India past 300. While chasing, their key batsman Mahmudullah was given out when it seemed Shikhar Dhawan had touched the rope while taking the catch.
Bangladesh fans went berserk. Dhaka University students took out a protest march, terming it an international conspiracy. Bangladesh’s ICC president Mustafa Kamal resigned, saying India had influenced the game. Even the Bangladesh PM said umpiring error cost the team.
Anger over the World Cup incident was simmering and Bangladesh were keen to exact revenge. In the first ODI at Mirpur, India were four down for around 120 chasing over 300. Skipper MS Dhoni tried to steal a single, but young pacer Mustafizur Rahman, who eventually took five wickets, came in his way on the follow through.
Dhoni, seemingly out of frustration, elbowed him. Mustafizur fell and had to leave the field. Next over, Dhoni was out.
Tit for tat
Indian viewers were enjoying World Cup broadcasters, STAR Sports, make fun of Pakistan with the ‘Mauka, Mauka’ ad, but the response didn’t come from the object of ridicule.
Bangladesh took offence to an ad mocking them. After they beat India in a three-match ODI series at home in 2016 soon after the World Cup, a Bangladesh newspaper showed India players with half-shaven heads and Mustafizur Rahman, the wrecker-in-chief, holding a cutter in his hand. An image of pacer left the usually aggressive Indian fans shell-shocked.
Viru rubs it in
Virender Sehwag’s witty comments are a rage on Twitter these days. But in early 2010, ahead of the first Test in Chittagong, Sehwag dubbed Bangladesh an ordinary side.
“They might be good in One-dayers. But they are not a good Test side. They can’t take 20 wickets.”
It may have been true but coming from a visitor, it was deemed rude. Needless to say, it upset the fans of Bangladesh and left the players furious.
Rattling India at the world stage
The respect Bangladesh, the younger brother, had shown India, in the first half of the noughties dropped at the 2007 World Cup. Bangladesh stunned India in a group game, which eliminated the most watched team from the tournament in the West Indies.
It was a shock for India fans, some of whom attacked the players’ homes. Over the years, Bangladesh have matched India in limited-overs cricket. At the 2016 World T20, they almost toppled India in Bengaluru before losing by one run.