One of the major worries before India’s crucial encounter against Bangladesh in the ICC World T20 2014 was the effect that the furor surrounding BCCI President, N Srinivasan, would have had on the team’s morale. From a cricketing point of view the main cause of worry was Bangladesh’s propensity to outperform itself against India in major ICC events. However, on 28th March, 2014 India laid such ghosts to rest at the Shere Bangla National Stadium and won the match comfortably by 8 wickets with an over and 3 deliveries to spare.
Team composition: As can be expected, India went in the same side that won the games against Pakistan and West Indies. Bangladesh made one change – bringing in Nasir Hossain instead of Shabbir Rahaman.
Batting: For the third time in a row Dhoni won the toss and India opted to field. Bangladesh, like Pakistan and West Indies, was unable to make much headway in terms of a good score. It lost 7 wickets to get to a score of 138 with Anamul Haque top scoring with 44. In the Indian innings, Rohit Sharma led the riposte with his second half century in the tournament and Kohli also continued his purple patch with an unbeaten knock of 57.
Bowling: Like the games against Pakistan and West Indies, the Indian spinners performed superbly. Amit Mishra, who has been a revelation in this tournament, continued to make merry with 3 for 26 but overall Ashwin was the best bowler with 2 for 15. It was his incisive and economical bowling upfront that really bottled the Bangladeshis up.
From a Bangladeshi point of view, unfortunately, there is not much to write home about. The experienced Mashrafe Mortaza was once again the best bowler with 1 for 23 from 4 overs. Quickie Al-Amin Hossain got the other wicket to fall. It was really the failure of the other bowlers to take wickets and stop the run flow that meant the hosts were unable to exert much pressure on India.
Where do the teams go from here?
With this victory, India becomes the second team to go through to the semis. Before the match the Indians had stated that they would try and win the game against Bangladesh so that they could qualify for the semis without having to depend on others. The fact that they were able to achieve it in a clinical fashion would have pleased them no end.
Now regarding the Australia game, there would be a major conundrum in the team – whether to play the reserves or not. If Dhoni plays the full team then there is a fair chance, considering the present form of both teams, that India could win the game. However, if there is an injury in the team before the semi final and some player/s need/s to brought in for that game it would be unrealistic to expect them to perform without having given them any game time. However, some players such as Shami and Kohli need to be kept fresh for the semis.
On the flipside, the team is in a fantastic rhythm and resting anyone could break it. That could have a debilitating effect during the semis. So, Dhoni will need to take a decision considering these possibilities and more.
For Bangladesh, the road to semi finals becomes that much tougher with this defeat. They will now need to defeat Australia and Pakistan with huge margins and need other results to go their way. However, from a cricketing point of view they should look to get their experienced batters higher up the order. They can also think of bringing in another seamer or Abdur Razzak instead of Ziaur Rahaman who has proved to be ineffective so far.