Saturday, March 17, 2018

Bangladesh high on confidence but alert of India's superiority

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 95 hours ago

It's a good time to be a Bangladesh cricket fan. The smiles are visibly back and courtesy a stunning run-chase over hosts Sri Lanka, they have thrown the tournament wide open. Till a little while ago, Bangladesh were desperately scouring for a win, more so in the shortest format, one they admittedly have been poor at. What the fourth-highest successful run-chase has done though, is it has lifted their sagging spirits. However, inclement weather in Colombo has hit their preparations building up to the big clash quite badly. Big brothers India, on the other hand, will be glad to have pocketed their second win, more because their middle order came to the fore and brought them a win without much fireworks from the usual suspect - Shikhar Dhawan.

The need for both departments to come together in cohesion has been highlighted by skipper Mahmudullah on multiple occasions. In the opening game, their batting flopped in the face of some tight bowling from India, and in the second game, their bowlers were found guilty of hitting wrong lines and lengths on a wicket that was already relentless on the bowlers. If the batters and bowlers can combine together for a cause, Bangladesh might get closer to upsetting India in a T20I, something that they have never achieved in six attempts now. While their top five - Liton Das, Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah, are bubbling with confidence, they would do well to rebound some of it on Taskin Ahmed, who's gone over 11 runs an over on an average in the tournament so far. Mustafizur Rahman has used his change-ups well on the tour so far but the team will need Rubel Hossain and him to tighten up the noose further in the first six overs.

There's not much that should bother India barring some names not living up to their reputation. Skipper Rohit Sharma is due for runs on the tour and although he showed some spark at the top of the innings in the previous game, he's yet to come into his own. The red-hot form of Dhawan had meant that there was hardly any pressure on the rest of the batting line-up, but his rare failure on Monday served as the perfect audition for Manish Pandey and Dinesh Karthik, who brought along their sensible best to see India home. The other batsman who will be disappointed is Suresh Raina. While he's been striking the ball clean since his comeback in the South Africa T20Is, he is yet to play that one big knock. Monday night provided him the perfect setting before he over-attacked to throw his wicket away, and as a result, fluff an opportunity too.Cricbuzz.

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