Bangladesh v India, Asia Cup, Mirpur March 15, 2012

Mushfiqur targets India's bowling


India may have crossed their first hurdle towards reaching the final of the Asia Cup by beating one of their stronger opponents in their opening match, but concerns over their bowling, especially the fast bowing, remain.

In Vinay Kumar, Irfan Pathan and Praveen Kumar, they have three bowlers who bowl at a pretty similar, unthreatening pace. All of them prefer operating with the new ball, banking on any early movement on offer, and are far less comfortable bowling at the death. Praveen has not been at his best since his rib injury, Irfan isn't bowling those magic balls that earned him a die-hard legion of fans, while Vinay isn't the type of bowler who will give international teams sleepless nights.

Mushfiqur Rahim, Bangladesh's captain, knows where India's weak link lies. "Their bowling attack seems less stronger than Pakistan's or Sri Lanka's, that's what I feel personally," he said. "This is what is giving us confidence against India."

The statement comes on the day that Joe Dawes, India's new bowling coach, got his first chance to get a close-up look at his charges. Linking up with the Indian squad for the first time since his appointment last month, he supervised a three-hour training session on Thursday morning.

While Dawes will ponder how to improve the Indian bowling, Mushfiqur and Bangladesh have to come up with a plan to contain the Indian batting, which showed against Sri Lanka just how good they can be in familiar conditions. "It is quite difficult to bowl against their batting line-up," Mushfiqur said. "But at the same time, a good ball is enough for a batsman if it's his bad day. If we can capitalise on it and make them commit mistakes by bowling to their weakness, it would work."

Mushfiqur said Bangladesh's first target was to consistently challenge the top teams. "More than just winning a game, it is important for us to play against big teams confidently, fight against them. This will help us grow and win. We lost the first game by going close, but we don't do this on a regular basis, so we tend to forget what to do in such situations when faced with it." This is their 10th Asia Cup campaign, a competition in which they are yet to post a victory against Test opposition. Unless Bangladesh capitalise on India's weakness and end that streak on Friday, they will be facing another early elimination.

Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Raihan Uddin on March 18, 2012, 8:08 GMT

    Well I was reading the comments regarding Mushfiqur's speech. A lot of Indian Fans were criticizing his comment as well as made some unprofessional comment. I just wanna say that please don't take any team lightly even USA. Because you can't conclude till the last ball of the match. It happened that 6 required from the last ball and a SIX was hit. However, being the World Champ, team India is not as consistent as Australia. Lack of consistency and strategic game plan is the outcome of Bangladesh vs India match from India's point of view. On the other hand, now Bangladesh is undoubtedly a threat for any team. So never underestimate your opponent, otherwise it may cause severe backfire where greatest achievement may get ruined.

  • Javed on March 17, 2012, 20:31 GMT


  • Dummy4 on March 17, 2012, 19:24 GMT

    If Mushfiq is a 'kid' then how about this?

    1. A kid has spoiled the greatest celebration in the history of Indian cricket 2. A kid has defeated the most successful indian captain in every aspect of the game. 3. A kid was praised by the greatest indian legend in press conference on his day for which india has waited 22 years. 4. A kid wins the game against 12 indian chosen out from 100 million.

    If a bangladeshi 'Kid' can do this to you...then imagine what will happen when thousand other mushfiq will grow next!

  • rimon on March 17, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    indian bowling line up is pretty ordinary and B. Schweg is also prettty ordinary player that he is also afraid to play aganinst bd.

  • Dummy4 on March 17, 2012, 9:53 GMT

    looks like Mushfiqur's dream came true....... where are the Indian supporters now???

  • Dummy4 on March 17, 2012, 7:43 GMT

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha................i cant stop my laughing to read those INDIAN fan's comment

  • Dummy4 on March 17, 2012, 7:33 GMT

    i wish this asia cup have previous tournaments fixtures.... with 6/8 teams and afganistan, nepal, hong kong would also be given chance... then afgans also had a chance of winning with the so called MIGHTY INDIANS(actually after 100yrs in cricket who is still weak in bouncy wicket but great in batting pitch now even they lose in batting pitches too who is always a tiger only in home but in abroad a cat).... with money and power in ICC... blessed with no DRS and Umpires sympathy one can go furthur but not too much...

  • Dummy4 on March 17, 2012, 7:31 GMT guys live in a big country while having such a small heart that you don't want to give credit the bd boys who have played thousand times better than your team r thinking that your bowlers have bowled's not the fact..... our batsman give your bowler the pressure which has made Indian bowlers bowled badly ....however, we live in a small country although we do not have mean heart...Congratulations to Sachin tendulkar for historic contribution in cricket....

  • Mohammad Faizul on March 17, 2012, 6:42 GMT

    It was just fun watching those six's going all over in last overs.... A total team effort.

  • Dummy4 on March 17, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    Wheres the India Fans? Why they didn't Comments here?Are they Still now jealous?Shame on Indians

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