Aiming to clinch the semi-final berth at the earliest, a confident India would be eyeing for another commanding performance when they meet an out-of-sorts Bangladesh in their third Group league match of the ICC World Twenty20 here on Friday.
The Indian team’s confidence has certainly shot up after their wins against quality opposition like Pakistan and defending champions West Indies.
While Yuvraj Singh can cop a bit of flak for delaying the inevitable against West Indies which affected the net run-rate but Friday will give the team a chance to seal a ticket for the semi-final even before they meet Australia in their last group league encounter on Sunday.
If losing to Hong Kong wasn’t enough, the demoralising defeat against West Indies where they were bowled out for less than 100 was even more disappointing for Bangladesh .
For India, there aren’t too many worries save Yuvraj’s indifferent form. However Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina have more than made up for the poor show by the Punjab veteran.
Waiting in the wings for his chance is Ajinkya Rahane, who can also be a match-winner on a given day. Save Shakib al Hasan, who is a world class all-rounder, Bangladesh does not have too many players who could pose a real threat.
The best part about India’s performance so far has been their bowling — especially their spinners. Leg spinner Amit Mishra has shown that he can prove to be more than a handful on conditions where there is a little bit more help for the spinners.
R Ashwin may not have set the stage on fire but his ‘leg-theory’ (coming round the wicket to right handers and firing it on leg-stump) has been effective so far.
Jadeja as the third specialist spinner has been among wickets although Lendl Simons scored a few runs during the final over of the innings, in the last match.
Indian pacers have also done a decent job so far. With the ball seaming around a bit, the conditions have been ideal for Bhuvneshwar Kumar as he bowled a brilliant spell first up against the West Indies.
A haywire campagin
For Bangladesh, the campaign has gone haywire since their loss to Hong Kong in Chittagong in the qualifying phase. The batsmen haven’t been able to score runs and the fielding had been awful at times. Opener Tamim Iqbal has played some good knocks against India in the ODIs but has looked completely out-of-sync in the last few games. Skipper Rahim has been getting starts but has not been able to convert them into big scores. Therefore, a lot of pressure is on Shakib.
The pace battery also has rag-tag look to it. Mashrafe Mortaza is forced to play although he is not fully fit as the other senior pacer Rubel Hosain is out of the tournament with an injury. Al-Amin Hossain looks to be an exciting prospect but he is still not ready to shoulder the responsibility of the team.PTI