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CT 2017, 2nd Semifinal, IND v BAN Preview: Confident Bangladesh looking to befuddle strong India

In an all Asia semifinal, Bangladesh will have to play extremely well to compete against a strong India side.

Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni India News
Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni of India.
(Photo Source: Getty Images)

Despite having a stutter, in the game against Sri Lanka, India have managed to qualify for the semifinals of the Champions Trophy. They had a near perfect game against South Africa. Chasing a paltry 192, the defending champions completed the formalities with 8 wickets in hand and 72 balls unused. Bangladesh have rallied well to make the best possible use of the lucky washout game against Australia.

After losing to England, there wasn’t much hope for The Tigers but rain and later Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah came to their help. The solitary point they got against Australia due to rain turned out to be the game changer for them. They then defeated New Zealand, in what might go down as their best ODI win, by 5 wickets in Cardiff, the same venue where they defeated Australia in 2005. Mortaza would want a similar performance against India from his boys. Bangladesh have shown in the past that they can punch above their weight in the knockout clashes and India must not make the mistake of taking them lightly.

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India are just two games away from lifting the Trophy again. They are the form team and have now identified their best combination going forward in the tournament. Ashwin’s inclusion has certainly given them an edge. The off-spinner gives Jadeja just the little bit of cushion. Both bowl well in tandem and Jadeja has largely struggled in the star off-spinners absence. Pandya too bowled well the other day after a disappointing game with the ball against Sri Lanka. All in all, India are in a good space and start favourites to win this semi-final at Edgbaston.

Toss: India won the toss and have opted to field

Mashrafe Mortaza: WE will have to play them with some sort of confidence. Team wants to go further. Last two years, the team is improving. Lot of expectations. Not only this game, every match we play. We are sticking to the same team.

Virat Kohli: We are gonna have a bowl first. It looks like a fresh wicket. It should stay the same. Not at all. You have to play good cricket throughout to go all the way. We know what Bangladesh can do. No changes in our line up.

Playing XI:

India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(c), Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni(w), Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah

Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Sabbir Rahman, Mushfiqur Rahim(w), Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Mashrafe Mortaza(c), Taskin Ahmed, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman

Focus will be on

Kedar Jadhav

In 6 ODIs this year, Jadhav averages 85.66 after scoring 257 runs which include a memorable 120 against England in January. His strike rate in this period has been 147.70. Those stats tell you about the calibre of Kedar Jadhav. He is a cricketer who can bat at any position and score runs very quickly in the most unconventional way. Because the top order has been in fine form, Jadhav has faced just 13 balls in the tournament so far. He might get his chance in this big game and Jadhav will be ready for it. No. 6 is too late a position to make an impact for Jadhav but that is how the team combination is at the moment. The 32-year old play the angles down really well and is a master of picking his spots.

Soumya Sarkar

The young Bangladesh opener has not fired at all in this tournament. Because of his failures, there has been far too much on Tamim Iqbal, though the Iqbal has done well so far but he needs support as he can’t do it on his own in every game. Sarkar is a naturally attacking batsman and can put India on the back foot early in the game. He has a strike rate of 97 after 30 ODIs which gives an insight into his aggressive mindset. This might be the biggest game of Sarkar’s life and he needs to step up to be counted on the big stage. The 24-year old has just 34 runs in three games and must take inspiration from the sparkling 87* he got 5 games ago against Ireland.

Team Combinations

India

Virat Kohli is not going to tinker with the combination at all. Dhawan and Rohit’s form at the top of the order has made life easier for the middle order. Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh are the incumbent No. 3 and 4 respectively. Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav and Pandya will occupy the rest of the batting positions which will vary according to the situation of the game. Ashwin and Jadeja, two prominent reasons of India winning the title in 2013, will join hands to bamboozle the Bangladesh batsmen. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah both had a good outing against South Africa and will lead the Indian attack in this game as well.

Bangladesh

Tamim Iqbal will again have to make an early headway in the game for Bangladesh alongside Soumya Sarkar. Mahmudullah is too good a player to be wasted at No. 7 and Bangladesh must play him at No. 3. Mushfiqur and Shakib can take the No. 4 and 5 slots. Sabbir Rahman will come in at No. 6. Mosaddek Hossain will be the all-rounder for Bangladesh. Taskin’s addition in the side was a great decision and he did well enough to start this important clash. Skipper Mortaza, Mushfiqur Rahman and Rubel will be the other three fast bowlers.

 

Stat Attack

300 – This will be Yuvraj Singh’s 300th ODI. He has 8622 runs in his ODI career so far including 14 centuries.

88 – runs needed by Virat Kohli to reach 8,000 ODI runs. He will be the 8th Indian to achieve the landmark.

41 – runs required by MS Dhoni to go past Azharuddin’s tally of 9378 ODI runs and become the 4th highest run-getter for India in ODIs.

4 – wickets required by Ravi Ashwin to complete 150 ODI wickets. He will be the 13th Indian cricketer to reach the milestone.

32 – runs required by Shakib Al Hasan to complete 5,000 ODI runs. He will be the second Bangladeshi to do that.

1 – No. of times India has lost to Bangladesh at a neutral venue.

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