CWC15 2nd Quarter Final
India vs Bangladesh
Bangladesh has entered the knockout stage of the world cup held in Australia and New Zealand. To be honest no one expected them to be the part of the quarter finals given the form they were in when they landed down under. They failed to qualify for the knockouts when the world cup was held in the sub continent in the year 2011.
With the aid of rain gods and stellar performances by Mushfiquir Rahim, Mahmudullah and Shakib Al Hasan they have reached a stage which they would have taken before the start of the tournament. But such is the format of the tournament a good day here would take them into the semis.
However, there is one caveat to this dream of theirs. They will face prodigiously performing Indian team in the quarterfinals. With six wins out of six played in the group matches they have been impeccable in their performance. Also demeanor of the wins has said enough of this Indian line up.
Batsman, bowlers and fielders have contributed equally to the team’s triumph. Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Rahane, Raina and Dhoni have all been the contributors to the Indian success with the bat. Crucially for Indian their batting has not depended on one or two batsmen. It was the top order against Pak and South Africa while lower middle order steadied turbulent ship in the match against Zimbabwe.
The game against Zimbabwe was a perfect dress rehearsal for India as their batsmen completed a clinical chase after being reduced to 92-4 in the 23rd over. The manner in which Dhoni and Raina paced their innings was a perfect example of India’s batting power. Also this buttresses the argument that India has one of the best batting line ups in the tournament.
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Anyways, India’s batting is always expected to be their forte in any tournament but the flair with which Indian pacers have bowled in this tournament has been unprecedented. The control with which Umesh Yadav and Mohammad Shami have bowled is exemplary.
Mohit Sharma, the first change bowler, has maintained the pressure on batsman and priced out a few wickets in the process. However, massive relief for India is to see Ashwin perform on pitches outside subcontinents. The loop in air, carom ball and the spin are all back in his armory which is important to India’s plan as they are expected to face spin inept Australia in the semis. Big grounds are expected to aid the two spinners in their line up.
MS Dhoni’s captaincy has been freshly attacking and dissimilar to the past. With this new rule of having one extra fielder in the 30 yard circle might have brought much needed overhaul in Dhoni’s captaincy.
Bangladesh’s prospects entering into this world cup was bleak to say the least. Fast and bouncy pitches in Australia and New Zealand were assumed extravagant for the batsmen to handle. Also the bowling resources were deemed inept in these conditions.
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But here they are playing their first quarter finals in the fifth world cup they have been in. In the six matches they have played in the group stages they have won three (against England, Scotland and Afghanistan) lost two (against New Zealand and Sri Lanka) and one game was washed out (against Australia). They have gradually raised their level of performance and it was the do-or-die game against England which brought out the best in them. Defending a mediocre total of 275 they restricted England to 260 runs. Coming back into the match after England was cruising at 97-1 says much about never say die attitude they possess.
If the win against England displayed the steely nerves they have, match against New Zealand was all about their grittiness as they ran an unbeaten team close. India needs to guard against complacency against this transformed Bangladesh team. Bangladesh has the wherewithal to win such crucial encounters and they will do well to portend it.
Team News :
India has looked the most settled team in the tournament and they have no reasons to change this winnings combination. We should see an unchanged XI unless there is an injury.
India (probable) : 1. Rohit Sharma 2. Shikhar Dhawan 3. Virat Kohli 4. Ajinkya Rahane 5. Suresh Raina 6. MS Dhoni 7. Ravindra Jadeja 8. Ravichandran Ashwin 9. Mohammad Shami 10. Umesh Yadav 11. Mohit Sharma
Bangladesh will be apprehensive of their opening batsmen as they have failed to give them a decent start which has put pressure on the middle order. However they are expected to stick with Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayez. Mashrafe Mortaza is expected to come back in place of Taijul Islam
Bangladesh (probable) : 1. Tamim Iqbal 2. Imrul Kayes 3. Soumya Sarkar 4. Mahamudullah 5. Shakib Al Hasan 6. Mushfiquir Rahim 7. Sabbir Rahman 8. Mashrafe Mortaza 9. Nasir Hossain 10. Rubel Hossain 11. Taskin Ahmed
The Pitch :
The match is to be played at the iconic MCG and with the big boundaries here the spinners are expected to play a huge part especially the spinning arsenal both teams possess.
Thus far three matches have been played here which saw scores of 342-307-332. Interestingly enough teams batting first have won in all the three matches. Both India and Bangladesh have played at this ground. While India won their fixture, Bangladesh lost to Sri Lanka.
Team batting first need a score in excess of 300 to stamp their authority as we have seen in the tournament anything less than 300 is relatively easy to chase.
The Odds :
India is 1.16 to win the game and of all the quarter finals this game seems straight forward. But in knockout game anything is possible as the pressure is manifold compared to the group matches. Even a score in the range of 280+ could be tricky to chase for India. The gulf is too huge keeping in mind the knockout game. However, we are going to back India to win this crucial encounter.