ICC World T20, Bangalore
India: Played 2, Won 1, Lost 1
Bangladesh: Played 2, Lost 2
Previous Match: India defeated Pakistan, Bangladesh lost to Australia
Midway into the group stages, there have been no major upsets in the tournament so far. New Zealand beating India in the first match was a bit of an upset, but it became less of one after they defeated Australia too. However, India just about managed to get their campaign back on track with a hard-fought win over rivals Pakistan, after getting an early jolt while chasing a moderate score. Still, they lie fourth in the group despite winning one like Australia and Pakistan, because of how heavily they lost to New Zealand – a NRR scenario, which could come back to haunt them. Therefore, despite form being decent, India will need to win heavy against an injury-ravaged Bangladeshi side.
Bangladesh, sadly, hasn’t been able to replicate their Asia Cup form or luck in this World Cup. They qualified without any scares, but soon began to feel the strain as most of their top players fell away due to injuries. Mustafizur Rahman, their top bowler, was almost ruled out of the tournament before being brought back in against Australia because they had no other options. With Taskin Ahmed and Arafat Sunny coming under the ICC scanner for their actions, their immediate banning led to a complete sinking in spirits for the team – which perhaps led captain Mashrafe Mortaza to make some silly bowling decisions against Australia. Their sloppy fielding, especially, showed how dispirited they felt after enjoying somewhat of a hot streak up until their first match against Pakistan. To make matters worse, their top scorer Tamim Iqbal was injured too, making it a second-string team at a time they really needed to step up and face the bullies.
The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium is traditionally a very high-scoring ground, though the two games played here (West Indies v/s Sri Lanka, Australia v/s Bangladesh) had totals less than 200, which were chased down with relative ease. India has chased in both games too, losing one and winning one, and will want to chase again so that Kohli can get into his element. However, the Indian openers and Suresh Raina have failed in both matches so far – and the Chinnaswamy, where Rohit Sharma scored 209 in an ODI two years ago, will be a perfect venue for them to explode and remind other teams why their lineup is so highly rated.
Except for main man Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh struggled to extract much out of the pitch; though they gave Australia a bit of a scare towards the end. Mortaza will have to bowl more than one over, and let Al-Amin Hossain do some more work too, instead of putting it all on Hasan and the not-totally-fit Mustafizur Rahman.
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
India: Rohit Sharma is due, as is Suresh Raina – both of who specialize in pummeling weaker bowling attacks in home conditions.
Bangladesh: Youngster Soumya Sarkar hasn’t got going, but he can tear into Bumrah and Nehra if he lasts for the first 5 overs.
India, to win with much to spare. Bangladesh are not at full strength, and even if they were, they would have struggled to contain a desperate Indian team trying to make up for lost ground.