India takes on Bangladesh in its third match of the ICC World T20 2014 today. In spite of not being at the same level as a team on paper, Bangladesh has always given a strong fight against India especially in global events. The match that instantly comes to mind is India’s opening encounter against this team in the 2007 ICC World Cup where the surprise defeat basically spelt the death knell for India’s aspirations of landing the championship after the failed attempt of 2003. This time, though, the situation is pretty different.
Form: With regards to present form India will be enjoying a significant advantage over its sub-continental rivals, having won its first couple of games against championship contenders such as West Indies and Pakistan. Bangladesh, on the other hand, has suffered a crushing loss against West Indies, which would not have done much for their confidence.
First eleven: It is unlikely that Dhoni will change the team that has won 2 matches on the trot. So the first eleven is likely to look like this:
Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Amit Mishra and Mohammed Shami.
Bangladesh suffered a heavy loss against West Indies and considering the fact that it would be serious about getting to the semis, there should be some changes from the team that competed against West Indies:
Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque, Mominul Haque, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Nasir Hossain, Farhad Reza, Ziaur Rahman, Abdur Razzak, Mashrafe Mortaza, and Al Amin Hossain.
Importance of the match: A win in this match will ensure that India is almost sure to go through to the semifinals and for Bangladesh this contest is an opportunity to haul its campaign back on track.
Issues for the teams: The major problem for Bangladesh is that it has preciously little momentum following the defeat against West Indies. The fact that it had to endure a qualifying campaign against lesser opponents instead of being able to prepare against tougher opponents in the practice matches has meant that its preparation has not been at par with its exertions. This is expected to hamper the team in the matches going ahead.
From a cricketing point of view the biggest problem for India would be the off form of Yuvraj Singh. He has not been successful with the bat, has been dropping catches, which could have proved to be crucial like that of Gayle against the West Indies, and his bowling has been nowhere near its best. In a set-up like Australia it would be doubtful if he would have received another chance or not but considering this is India and the game is against Bangladesh and the team is relatively well-settled, he could be given one more opportunity higher up the order to get his bearings right. However, it would be advisable that the team plays Ajinkya Rahane if he misfires today as well.
However, more than this problem, what will be worrying Dhoni is his name being implicated in the IPL fixing scam and the overall uncertainty surrounding his mentor N Srinivasan. Administrative pressure has often been seen to affect the employees – it remains to be seen whether India is able to prove that wrong for today or not?