Asia Cup 2014 – Review of India’s match against Bangladesh

Bangladesh has, till date, been one of the hardest opponents for India in major tournaments. In the 2007 World Cup it defeated the big brothers, which ultimately brought down the curtains of India’s Cup aspirations for that year. In 2012 again it defeated India in the Asia Cup, which meant that India’s wins against Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the tournament did not count for much in the final analysis. Today’s encounter, which was the first game for both the teams, was going to be a major challenge from the point of view of form for India as well as Bangladesh.


Form: Before the Asia Cup both India and Bangladesh had lost their previous series – against New Zealand and Sri Lanka respectively – and this would have weighed heavily on them. A win was essential to boost the morale of both the teams and in the end India was fortunate enough to have won the game and started the tournament on a positive note.


Conditions: Dew, during the evening, was going to be a major factor and it was expected to be a major problem for the bowlers. It proved to be so for the Bangla bowlers who faced several issues that hampered their full efficiency.


Batting: Both the teams batted competently enough, which can be gauged from the totals put up on the board. For the hosts, skipper Mushfiqur Rahim compiled a splendid century and was supported well by youngster Anamul Haque who got 77. The Indian innings almost mirrored that of Bangladesh with skipper Kohli replying with a century of his own. Rahane with 73 played a solid hand to help the Indian captain prosper. The only difference between the two innings was that India lost lot less wickets than Bangladesh.


Bowling: India, for the first time, in several months bowled better than its opponents. Shami was the best bowler on view for India with 4 wickets from a full spell that cost 50 runs. Bhuvneshwar and Ashwin also picked up a wicket apiece and bowled more or less economically. Varun Aaron, however, had a day to forget. In spite of his exceptional pace he conceded 74 runs from 7.5 overs and was ejected from the attack after bowling the second beamer in the match. Jadeja bowled with an exceptional economy rate of 3.7 from his quota of 10 overs.


The Bangladeshi bowlers, on the other hand, were not as penetrative. All the main bowlers, with the exception of seam spearhead Mashrafe Mortaza, picked up a wicket each. Among them Ziaur Rahman and Abdur Razzak bowled economically. Perhaps the failure of Mortaza to pick up a wicket in this game was a major drawback. The absence of Shakib Al-Hasan, owing to a ban, would have hurt the team as well.


What the teams will take from this match: Bangladesh will understandably be dismayed by the results but they would be delighted with the way Anamul and Mushfiqur performed with the bat. They would be looking for more such contributions from the other members of the batting line up, especially in the absence of Tamim Iqbal. However, they will need to take a fresh look at the composition of their bowling line up and see if it needs to be changed or not. Possibly, the young Al-Amin could be included in place of Rubel, who leaked too many runs or Mortaza, who did not pick up a wicket.


For India, the decent form of all the batsmen is a major plus. The bowling, with the exception of Aaron, looked disciplined enough in known conditions and so they should look to replicate the same in the next couple of matches as well if they are to win the tournament in the end.