At the end of the day it all came down to “what ifs” for Bangladesh. There’s no doubt that the reprieve that Rohit Sharma got in the 40th over proved to be a crucial turning point in the game. Sharma, who was in his 90s at that point, went on to hammer a series of boundaries later in the game.
Would the game be any different had the leg-umpire not deemed that delivery as a no-ball? Skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza certainly thought so.
“It could have been. Against India we always have to take wickets, otherwise it is going to be very difficult. At that stage if he got out, Rohit, it would have been great. But I think I can't say anything in here. Everyone saw what happened in the middle. I don’t want to say anything about this,” a disappointed Mashrafe blurted at the end of the match today.
Criticising umpires does not always yield the best of reactions and it was quite obvious that Mashrafe had chosen his words quite cautiously. While he did not condemn the umpire’s decision, his words demeanour displayed just how disappointed he was.
The first 35 overs saw the Tigers keep India under pressure. They kept a tight field and bowled well. The plan according to the captain was to stop the singles.
“They can hit threes, fours or sixes, but our plan was to stop the singles, and I think our plan was pretty good. We were a bit unlucky that we couldn't get a wicket at that time. If we could get one wicket at that time it would have been much better for us,” explained Mashrafe.
Mashrafe however was disappointed with the overall mistakes in the game. “There were three mistakes. They could have been restricted to 270-280, secondly we couldn’t make any partnerships and thirdly we kept losing wickets in every interval,” he remarked.
Despite getting thumped out of the tournament, Mashrafe was proud of the way his team performed in the World Cup.
“It was brilliant tournament for us. Obviously the way we played today, it wasn't great, but most of the players in our side are from 2008, and we haven't played any cricket in Australia, so it was a really tough ask for us.
“The way they adjusted to the wickets and conditions, I feel very proud as the captain of this team, and hopefully our boys will take it in the next series and do well in the next few matches,” concluded Mashrafe.