Is India vs Bangladesh a new rivalry born in cricket?
India and Bangladesh are going to face each other for the second consecutive time in an Asia Cup final. In 2016 it was the T20 Asia Cup and now it is the 50 over Asia Cup where they will lock horns on Friday. So, is India vs Bangladesh a new rivalry born in cricket?
In recent times, a severe competition has developed between the two teams where they hate to lose against each other, especially Bangladesh. They seem to absolutely hate to lose to India. When India defeated them in the 2016 Asia Cup in Dhaka, it was quite evident by the reactions of the Bangladeshi fans at the stadiums.
Bangladesh really got into the skins of the Indian fans when they defeated them in the group stage of the 2007 World Cup in West Indies. India were out of that World Cup mainly because of that defeat but the internet was not so strong then to light the fire among both sets of fans.
Since then, India have defeated Bangladesh on several occasions pretty handsomely. In the 2011 World Cup, India defeated Bangladesh by 87 runs, which was considered to be the revenge for the 2007 defeat.
But the main cause of the rivalry between India and Bangladesh had to be the 2015 World Cup where they faced each other in the quarter-final. Bangladesh felt that there was an international conspiracy to eliminate them from the World Cup as they got few harsh umpiring decisions. Even the PM of Bangladesh commented that poor umpiring made their team lose the match.
When Rohit Sharma was batting on 90, he hit a full toss straight to the fielder but the ball was called a no-ball by the umpires while the TV replays showed that it was just below waist high. Rohit scored 40 more runs after that incident and Bangladesh went on to lose the match by a huge margin of 109 runs.
Since that World Cup, things really spiced up between the two teams. Bangladesh started to consider India as their no.1 enemy. When India toured Bangladesh in 2015 they defeated India 2-1 in the series. Some Bangladeshi newspaper came up with some absurd photos of Indian batsmen with half-shaven head and Mustafizur Rahman holding a blade in his hand.
The meme offended the Indian fans. Again in 2016, before the final match between India and Bangladesh in the T20 Asia Cup, a meme of fast bowler Taskin Ahmed holding the severed head of the then Indian captain MS Dhoni became viral in Bangladesh.
But the Indian fans had the last laugh as team India defeated Bangladesh twice in that Asia Cup, once in the group stage and once in the final by 8 wickets. The actions of some Bangladeshi players have also added fuel to this rivalry.
Mushfiqur Rahim, a senior Bangladeshi player, took to social media to celebrate India's semi-final loss against West Indies in the 2016 T20 World Cup, which clearly upset the Indian fans. Earlier, Bangladesh's comedy of errors against India saw their exit from the World Cup by 1 run.
In the 2017 Champions Trophy, these two teams faced each other in the semi-final. Bangladesh were playing for the first time in the semi-final of such a big tournament. But India again came in their way and destroyed their dreams of reaching finalsm winning the match by 9 wickets.
In 2018, India had to face Bangladesh again in the final of the Nidahas Trophy played in Sri Lanka. It was a nailing biting match which ended with a last-ball six by Dinesh Karthik, taking India home by 4 wickets.
Now, the two teams will go head to head one more time in the final of the Asia Cup 2018. Bangladesh have already suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of India in the super four stage. So they would love to settle their dues of all these years of defeat at the crucial stages.
India vs Bangladesh is a rivalry mostly for the Bangladeshi fans. It probably still isn't any match to the rivalry of India-Pakistan or India-Australia or even India-England.
However, the fact that the fans always tend to do something to get under the skins of each other makes the clash an interesting one.
Published 27 Sep 2018, 20:12 IST