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World Cup journeys of India and Bangladesh so far
This will be the fourth contest in the year’s world cup for both sides. So far, India have been unbeatable in the home event, coming into the Bangladesh game after thumping Pakistan in an intense face-off in Ahmedabad on October 14.
Earlier, they began their tournament campaign with a win over Australia, then defeated Afghanistan as well. India are at the top of the table with six points and a net run-rate of 1.8.
As for Bangladesh, they’re at the seventh spot with one win in three games. They beat Afghanistan in their second contest.
India vs Bangladesh: Head-to-head stats
Both Asian sides have met 40 times in 50-over contests with India winning on 30 occasions. Whereas, Bangladesh has won nine times and the one time ended in a no-contest.
Bangladesh are mostly dominant in their home conditions. They have beaten the likes of South Africa, Pakistan, India and even Australia at their home turfs in limited-over games.
However, playing against India in India is a whole different story.
Who wins the Man-of-the-match award?
There are many notable performers on both sides, but here are the few names that are likely to bag the Man-of-the-match trophy.
With a blistering knock of 85 runs against arch-rival Pakistan, India captain Rohit Sharma is back to his absolute best. Bangladesh have had their struggles against batters that like to hit straight, and Sharma falls under the umbrella.
If the Indian captain gets going, it will be a very uphill task for Shakib Al Hasan’s unit to put brakes on India’s scoring rate.
He has already scored 217 runs in three matches.
The visitors will have to try and get his scalp in the opening overs, perhaps through a left-arm pacer as Sharma seemingly struggles against left-arm fast bowlers who tend to swing the ball inside him.
Rehman, 36, is probably playing in his last world cup. The wicket-keeper batsman has been keeping the bowlers on their toes, making them work to stop his flow of runs.
The right-handed batter averages just over 37 in the format and has been striking the ball very neatly in the mega event so far.
With two fifties in three games, he has shown signs of aggression and positive intent as he doesn’t like to play the block game. He has a knack for punishing every bad delivery with an open face of the bat and a high backlift.
Bumrah is the leading wicket-taker of the world cup so far. He’s picked eight wickets in games against Australia, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
His clinical performance against Pakistan is something that the coaches in the Bangladesh team will have monitored for their opening batters.
It is always a tough job to combat Bumrah’s opening spell as he tends to swing the ball both ways, pitching the ball at good areas almost on every occasion.
Coupled with Mohammad Siraj, the pace duo keeps the batsmen in check at both times -start of the innings and in death overs.
This world cup, Bumrah averages just over 11 with the ball, an astonishing stat to possess knowing that the tournament is being held on batting wickets.
4.Shakib Al Hasan
Bangladesh captain Shakib has shown mediocre performances so far, but he is a man who has played in five world cups so far, so excluding him from the list wold have been almost criminal.
The skipper was unable to make a mark in their opening game against England, which the team lost by 137 runs.
He did, however, bowled well in the Afghanistan match where he picked three wickets in his eight overs to help his side walk away with a win.
Against New Zealand, Shakib showed his wristwork, this time with the bat as he smashed a patient knock of 40 runs. The knock was insufficient to beat Kane Williamson’s side, but it was a good sign for Bangladesh to see their leader clicking with the bat as well.
He’s a man with ample experience under his belt. Hence, performing in a big game when it matters the most should not be very amusing for a veteran player like Shakib.
India have been on a roll, not just in this world cup, but for a long while, especially in white-ball cricket. They have become a top-ranked side in the ICC’s charts for a reason.
They have a strong, balanced unit when it comes to all three departments - batting, bowling and fielding. Their key batsmen that include KL Rahul, Sharma, Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer, are performing up the mark and they will not find it too difficult to score runs in Pune, a wicket they are very familiar with.
Overall, India doesn’t seem to be a force you want to reckon with. They only looked like swallowing a defeat once in this world cup. The situation occurred against India where they lost three batsmen for only two runs, but then Kohli and Rahul stepped up to the occasion to clinch the game from the jaws of defeat and win the match by six wickets.
Their spinners are clicking, pace duo is back, batsmen are in sublime touch. One wonders, what more can they ask for?
On the other hand, Bangladesh are still looking for some way to climb up the table and garner more points. Their top-order batsmen are yet to deliver the goods and their team has been very reliant on the likes of Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim to save them in dire situations.
This has cost them crucial points in India.
Hence, India are most likely to outplay Shakib’s unit on Thursday and continue to sit pretty at the top of the points table.
Bangladesh will have to pull off some extraordinary performance to thump Rohit Sharma and co, and upset the odds that are definitely stacked against their side.