'I was just happy to be playing in presence of legends' - Tamim Iqbal reminisces his match against India in 2007 World Cup

‘I was just happy to be playing in presence of legends’ – Tamim Iqbal reminisces his match against India in 2007 World Cup

Bangladesh defeated India by five wickets in 2007 World Cup match where Tamim Iqbal scored 51 runs off 53 balls.

Tamim Iqbal
Tamim Iqbal. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

2007 ICC Cricket World Cup is considered as a dark chapter in the Indian cricket history. Quite rightly, the team led by Rahul Dravid failed to qualify for the super eight stages. At the end of it all, one can blame the loss against Bangladesh in Port of Spain, which hurt India’s chances of qualification beyond the group stage. The team failed to put a big score on the board and Bangladesh quite comfortably chased down the total.

The chase was engineered by three young men who went on to serve Bangladesh cricket in the years to come. The Tigers chased down the stiff target of 192, on the back of fifties from Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan. Fans still remember that knock from Tamim in which he smashed 51 runs from 53 balls and set the tone of the chase from the onset.

Tamim Iqbal recalls facing Zaheer Khan

Years later, Tamim Iqbal recalled the memories of playing in that match. While talking about the historic game, the opening batsman revealed he was just happy to be playing against his childhood heroes from the Indian team.

“The moment I was playing the World Cup 2007 match against India, I was too busy watching Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly. I was just watching them. I was too happy to be playing in the presence of these legends,” he told Sanjay Manjrekar during video podcast by ESPNCricinfo.

One of the memories of many fans would be the passage of play when Iqbal started getting top of the Indian bowling unit. The Indian team had fast bowlers like Zaheer Khan and Munaf Patel. But, the left-handed batsman tried taking the attacking route and the move worked for him. When Tamim got out, Bangladesh’s score was 69-2 from 13.2 overs. His knock, which consisted of seven fours and two sixes, allowed other batsmen to take their time.

“When they scored 190, we knew we had a chance. I went to bat and I faced Zaheer Khan. I thought to myself will I be able to face a bowler who bowls at 140 kph; the first ball he bowled, somehow I managed to defend that; next ball I smashed for four and from there I got some confidence,” Tamim added.

“I was just too happy playing against my heroes; the win against India in the 2007 World Cup was a great thing for Bangladesh cricket; it was great for both players and fans, the win gave hope to our people that our team can do something,” he further said.