Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Team India to Face a Resurgent Bangladesh at MCG

Bangladesh vs India at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Melbourne on Mar 19, 2015 - Match Preview

Defending champions India will take on the rising stars of international cricket, Bangladesh at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and we can expect a full house cheering on for their respective teams. India have been quite clinical right through the World Cup having swatted away every opposition with relative ease. Bangladesh have been good too, in the sense that they were all over England with their historic win and then they gave a scare to the co-hosts New Zealand.

Indian batting has been hit and miss in this tournament so far. While Shikhar Dhawan has made splendid centuries against South Africa and Ireland, he has also looked out of sorts at times. He was also dropped twice by Ireland very early in his innings. Rohit Sharma was in good form coming in to the World Cup but he has had an ordinary tournament up until now. Virat Kohli started with a ton against Pakistan but his blade too has had a quiet run since that game.

MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina have some fun ahead of the 
crucial Quarter Final encounter against Bangladesh at MCG

Suresh Raina and Mahendra Singh Dhoni were in need of some time out in the middle and they got ample of that in their last game against the Zimbabweans. Chasing a huge score of almost 300, India was 94-4 when these two came together. They kept up with the increasing run rate and took India home with plenty to spare comfortably. The place of Ravindra Jadeja is under scrutiny and I think India would do well to replace him with Stuart Binny.

As I have said on numerous occasions now right throughout this World Cup, the performance bowlers has been exceptional, their line and lengths exemplary and their consistency astonishing. Mohammad Shami has bowled with pace and fire, he has swung the ball early on and fired in the quick yorkers at death. Umesh Yadav was always known for his pace but he would struggle for consistency. He has been very consistent serving very few loose balls and has swung the new ball upfront. Mohit Sharma has complemented the opening pair by coming in first change. He has the variations needed to succeed in the middle overs. His slower balls and slow bouncers coupled with good quick deliveries have proved far too hot for the batsmen up until now!

R Ashwin was expected to like the bounce of the Australian pitches and he has made full use of it. He has made the ball to jump at the batsmen from disconcerting lengths. He has also spun the ball occasionally to keep the batsmen guessing. He was tonked by Brendan Taylor in the last game but on the large MCG ground that will not be an easy task for Bangladesh. Ravindra Jadeja has proved to be the weakest bowling link in the World Cup so far. He has given away runs and let the pressure off, he has also not got enough wickets to his name.

Bangladesh batting has largely depended on Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim in the recent past but these two have been ably supported by Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar and Sabbir Rahman in different matches. But their X-Factor has been Mahmudullah Riyad who hit a stunning century against England to become Bangladesh's first centurion in World Cup history and then he repeated his dose against the Kiwi side consisting of Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Mitch McClenaghan and Dan Vettori.

Bangladesh will want the big guns in Shakib and Mushfiqur to fire against the Indians (these two have a splendid record against India) and would want the remaining batsmen to support them. The running between the wickets will play a huge role on the big MCG playing surface.

Bangladesh always relied on a slew of slow left arm spinners to strangle the opposition in the middle overs, the start of the innings and at the death. But all this has changed with the rise of a couple of very decent quick bowlers in Rubel Hosasin and Taskin Ahmed. They have combined with the captain and highly experienced Mashrafe Mortaza to create problems for nearly all opposition batsmen barring Sri Lanka who negotiated them easily.

Bangladesh still depends on Shakib and their spin bowlers but the reliance on them has not been such that it is the only weapon in its arsenal. They have a well rounded attack and should challenge the Indian batsmen.

Key Battles: Bangladesh vs India

Shakib Al Hasan vs Virat Kohli

Mashrafe Mortaza vs Rohit Sharma

Mohammad Shami vs Tamim Iqbal

R Ashwin vs Mushfiqur Rahim

India was outsted from the World Cup in a picture of despair and embarrassment from the 2007 World Cup held in Caribbean. They did win against the Bangladeshi's in Bangladesh in 2011 before going on to lift the trophy but that loss might still rankle them somewhere. MSD is the only surviving member from that horrendous match and he will want to lead his side in to the Semi Finals beating the team that gave him and the whole nation so much sadness 8 years ago.

Bangladesh has nothing to fear and they have probably achieved their goal of reaching the Quarter Finals. They must play without apprehension and just enjoy the big occasion. This game will provide an insight in to how much has been drained out of them in their last two games and how much still remains in their tank. Playing at MCG should be motivation enough for them to give their best.

PS - The image used is courtesy


LivSports Cricket said...

Though Bangladesh is doing so well in this tournament its hard to see Bangladesh repeating a 2007 here.

Anonymous said...

Bangladesh is really doing well but tomorrow there will be no place for them. Team India will just demolish them like anything.

DS said...

@LivSports, indrajit - I agree that even though Bangladesh are playing very good cricket at the moment but India might just be too strong for them. But India must play well to beat them and not be over confident, that can lead to their downfall.

LivSports Cricket said...

@DS, Agreed. It would be a mistake to take Bangladesh as easy target.