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India Bangladesh Face Off an Interesting Tussle

Tuesday, July 2, 2019 • Tamil Sport News Comments
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Recently, the India vs Bangladesh rivalry has grown in stature within the cricketing angle and sometimes even outside of it. Much more intensity is visible when compared to the historically existing India-Pakistan cricket rivalry. The current scenario demands two wins for Bangladesh against India on Tuesday and against Pakistan on Friday for a spot in the top four. Hopefully improving their NRR, they also should see the victory of New Zealand against England on Wednesday.

India is a win away from securing a semi-final spot. This makes this fixture worth a watch in the context of the tournament. From Bangladesh's home series win, to the World Cup quarter-final controversy pertaining the no-ball call (for the delivery bowled by Rubel Hossain to Rohit Sharma), as well as the judgement to give Mahamadullah out to a catch taken by Dhawan in the boundary line in the same match; From the home series win by Bangladesh in mid 2015, to the thrilling Indian wins in the finals of Nidahas T20 Trophy and the Asia Cup last year, such moments have given scuffles as well as great taste of cricket to the viewers from either side.

The Bangladesh unit is actually in the form of its life, with Shakib playing the lead role as a complete all-rounder and almost all other players helping him out. A stunning victory against South Africa and a hard-fought defeat against New Zealand showed us their capabilities. In addition, a spirited show in chase of 382 by scoring 340 against Australia, and highly convincing victories against Windies and Afganistan (while chasing 322/3 in 41.3 overs and by defending 262/7 to secure a 62 run win respectively), are points to prove how much Bangladesh has grown in the sport as a unit. A team like Sri Lanka, however, has been travelling downwards despite being a world champion just over two decades ago and having been in the finals on two occasions if the previous 3 completed World Cups are taken into focus.

As far as the XI is concerned, Mahmudullah has seemingly recovered from the grade one tear in his calf during the match against Afganistan and is likely to play on Tuesday. India, like an ever stronger unit and one of the favourites to grab the trophy, was unbeaten until its shocking slide to England. The match was at the same venue (Birmingham) on Sunday and the loss was by 31 runs in chase of 338, although the team lost just 5 wickets.

Although Rohit and Virat have been consistent with 3 tons and five fifties respectively to their tally, the middle order has been extremely fragile, with the elongated tail to add to the hardship. Rishabh Pant played in place of Vijay Shankar in the match and scored a brisk 32 off 29 with four fours, even though he had a shaky start in his World Cup debut match. Vijay Shankar is now officially out of the tournament due to a toe injury which he had got due to Bumrah's yorker during net practice at Southampton.

Mayank Aggarwal (28) has been named as a replacement and is expected to join the team before the match against Sri Lanka at Leeds on Saturday. Mayank's entry will strengthen the top order and the Karnataka opener will be an apt replacement to his fellow domestic teammate and a very dear friend, KL Rahul, who has been really below par with his proceedings in the series. In fact, in a similar circumstance, Mayank replaced Rahul and made his test debut last year when Rahul was dropped for the famous boxing day fixture at Melbourne. Mayank went on to score 76 & 42 in the test match after scoring a truckload of runs in first-class cricket overall. Rahul may either be dropped or be demoted to number 4 after Mayank's entry. This may happen immediately against Bangladesh if India decides to give Pant a go as an opener, to offer a left-handed partner to Rohit and let the right-hander take time to settle down. Moreover, a demotion could offer the comfort of facing more spin than pace to Rahul as he has a superior average of 87 and strike rate of 88.78 versus spinners when compared to a shockingly low 21.25 average at the rate of 56.29 versus pace bowlers.

Though Aggarwal is yet to enter ODI cricket, he averages 48.71, striking at 100.72 with 14 fifties in 12 tons in domestic One Day cricket. MS Dhoni's slowness in batting especially to begin with, and against the spinners, has been a major talking point in the tournament, yet Captain Kohli is backing the veteran keeper batsman and former World Cup winning captain.

Kedhar Jadhav himself may not be aware of any sort of reason for his existence in the current Indian XI, as he hardly bowled and also not made any major contribution to the team excluding the half-century against Afganistan, while also being an underwhelming fielder and also injury- prone. The ever-reliable fielder, a much-improved batsman and always a handy bowler, Jadeja would be an apt replacement. Similarly, in case if Bhuvaneshwar would return tomorrow, one among the "KulCha duo" would have to make way for him without a doubt, especially when their figures in the last match is taken to focus (Chahal 0/88 (10), the most expensive spell by an Indian spinner in ODIs and Kuldeep 0/72(10) ). Bhuvaneshwar's entry would add solidity to the lower order. Even if Bhuvaneshwar doesn't come in, one of these two would be replaced with Jadeja, and Dinesh Karthik might get in in place of Jadhav. Shami and Bumrah would continue their new ball duty.

The same track which was used for Sunday's match will be in use for this match too and once again it is likely to favour the team batting first and slow down as the match progresses. This means one square boundary will be shorter than the other.

Bangladesh (probable): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Soumya Sarkar, 3 Shakib Al Hasan, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 5 Liton Das, 6 Mahmudullah, 7 Mosaddek Hossain, 8 Mehidy Hasan, 9 Mohammad Saifuddin, 10 Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), 11 Mustafizur Rahman

India (probable): 1 KL Rahul, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Rishabh Pant, 5 MS Dhoni (wk), 6 Kedar Jadhav, 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9 Kuldeep Yadav/Yuzvendra Chahal, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Jasprit Bumrah

Soumya Sarkar is one of only six batsmen in ODI history to score more than 1000 runs as an opener at a 30-plus average and a strike rate of over 100.

If he scores 53, Mahmudullah will become the fourth Bangladesh batsman to score 4000 ODI runs.

Jasprit Bumrah is five wickets short - and Kuldeep Yadav eight wickets short - of 100 in ODIs.

-Kumaran Kumanan

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