India numb after shock World Cup defeat

NEW DELHI, India, March 18, 2007 (AFP) – Millions of Indians woke up Sunday numbed by their cricket team’s shock defeat against Bangladesh that threatens to end their World Cup campaign. The Indian Express said: “Bangladesh grabbed India by the collar, poked a finger in the eyes of some of the world’s best batsmen, tore up the elaborate blueprint prepared by coach Greg Chappell and punched an embarrassing dent on the face of the world’s richest cricketing outfit.” Bangladesh’s five-wicket win in Port of Spain on Saturday after bowling India out for a paltry 191 left Rahul Dravid’s men red-faced and an entire nation seething in anger.

India must now defeat first-timers Bermuda by a big margin on Monday and wallop powerful Sri Lanka convincingly next Friday to remain in contention for the second round.

“Let’s not fool ourselves, India’s World Cup is over,” said Delhi-based student Venayak Gupta, who stayed up all night to watch the horror show on television.

“Frankly, our overpaid, over-hyped and over-pampered cricketers do not deserve to stay in the tournament.”

Cricket legends Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev chose to shower praise on Bangladesh, saying even an experienced