Bangladesh confident of beating India
After thrashing India in the group stage of the World Cup and South Africa in the Super Eights, Habibul Bashar, the Bangladesh captain, remained confident of beating India again. "We are not overawed by our rivals," Bashar told AFP. "We know that if we play good cricket, we can defeat any team."
Bashar was speaking at a celebratory dinner on Saturday to felicitate the national squad after their World Cup performance. Specal mention, however, was reserved for Whatmore. Abdul Aziz, the Bangladesh cricket chief, said that they would "always be grateful to Whatmore for turning the team into a proud group of world beaters".
Whatmore said he was focused on his final assignment - the home series against India - and did not rule out returning to Bangladesh at a later stage. "I am proud and honoured to have been associated with Bangladesh," he said. "It was great working with such a dedicated bunch of players who did all the hard work out there on the field. It is time to move on but I hope to return to Bangladesh some day in the future." Whatmore is considered as a strong candidate to become India's coach, when he finishes his assignment with Bangladesh.
Since he took over as coach in 2003, Bangladesh have defeated the World Champions Australia, India (twice), Sri Lanka and South Africa in ODIs. They also secured their maiden Test victory against the Zimbabweans. But Whatmore believes that the team had a long way to go. "The journey has only just begun but they are on the right path," he said. "There is more self-belief among the players than before and that is a good sign."
The three ODIs against India on May 10, 12 and 15 will be followed by two Tests at Chittagong (May 18-22) and Dhaka (May 25-29).