Bangladesh coach Steve Rhodes said that they are disappointed with their exit from the World Cup, but hoped that they would be remembered as the “people’s team” for the fight they have shown against top sides.
In a must-win game to qualify for the semi-finals, they fell 29 runs short of India’s 314, but their wins over South Africa, West Indies and Afghanistan added excitement and a bit of drama to the World Cup, particularly at stages when rain threatened to turn the tournament into a farce.
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Rhodes also said that they were happy to bring down India’s score to 314 as they looked to be pulling ahead towards a 350-plus score at the halfway stage of their innings.
“I wish luck to the guys who are in that semi-final, but I wish it was us,” Rhodes said. “I am very proud with the way we played against the big teams. Maybe we will be the people’s team for the amount of fight we have shown.
“I think we did well after that opening blitz by Rohit Sharma. We were very happy at the halfway stage to be chasing that score. It could well have been 370-380, or 400 at one stage. We showed a lot of spirit and fight to come back. It was pleasing to see. It was a reflection of the team. We have three victories but we also pushed these big teams throughout the competition. With a little bit of luck, we may have been one of these top four teams.
Rhodes added that when playing against top teams, Bangladesh needed to start better, and that the toss had also been a point of difference.
“There are a lot of disappointed cricketers and coaches in the dressing room,” he said. “We were desparate to do well in the competition to take it further. It wasn’t to be. We played against a good team, a side that are currently ranked No 1 in the world. We pushed them but we made a few early mistakes. I think you need to get out of the blocks really well against a team like India. We were playing catch-up for a lot of the match.
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“In the defense of some of the batsmen, the toss was crucial. As you saw in the England match, the cutters and slower balls were difficult. When you get out to a slower ball, and chip it to someone in the ring, it looks like a really soft dismissal. Sometimes you have to give credit to the bowlers for deceiving the batsmen. The toss probably cost 20-30 runs, so 29 runs made it an even game.”