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

Do Bangladesh have another gear?


Match facts

March 16, 2012
Start time 1400 (0800 GMT)

Big Picture

The worry for Bangladesh is that a lot of their chief weapons fired in the tournament opener, Pakistan played below par, yet Bangladesh still lost. Their two world-class batsmen - Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan - got half-centuries, their rising star Nasir Hossain made a substantial contribution, and their left-arm spinners were miserly. There was even the bonus of a three-wicket burst from one of their medium-pacers. There is still room for improvement, of course, but Bangladesh's tendency in recent months has been to underperform rather than exceed expectations, and it is hard not to feel they have already produced their performance of the tournament.

India cannot afford to think that way, but even without Virender Sehwag around to call Bangladesh "ordinary", they will be confident they can handle whatever the home team throws at them. The 2007 World Cup upset apart, India have been dominant against Bangladesh, their batsmen collecting plenty of runs against an attack suited to India's strengths. The challenge for India, perhaps, will be to put in a tight performance with the ball and in the field, rather than just rely on their batsmen to outscore Bangladesh. They started the Commonwealth Bank series with some impressive performances in the field but a familiar profligacy and sloppiness set in as the tournament progressed. With a long stretch of subcontinent cricket ahead of them, India will be hoping their spinners can start exercising the same sort of control over the opposition as they did in the home series against England and West Indies last year.

Form Guide

(most recent first)
Bangladesh: LLLLW
India: WWLLL

In the spotlight

Forget the hundredth hundred, Sachin Tendulkar was not even able to go past 50 in the CB series, and averages 18.62 in eight ODIs this year. That is the kind of poor form that should put any player under pressure to keep his place, even if it is Tendulkar. He did not look too tense at India's optional training session on Wednesday, but cannot ignore his lean run of form. Weaker opposition and familiar conditions offer perhaps his best opportunity to get a big score. He has never scored an ODI hundred against Bangladesh and will want to change that so he can go in to the high-profile match against Pakistan with some confidence.

Mashrafe Mortaza's four-wicket haul against India in the 2007 World Cup remains one of the most memorable performances by a Bangladesh bowler in an ODI. Unfortunately, Mortaza's career has not quite followed the trajectory many though it would after that game, with a slew of injuries keeping him out of action for long periods. His latest comeback, at the age of 28, could be one of his last opportunities to contribute to Bangladesh cricket. He started well against Pakistan, giving away just 13 runs in a five-over first spell, but was taken apart by Umar Gul at the death.

Pitch and conditions

The pitches in Mirpur have been better for batting in the evenings, but the first two matches have been won by the team batting first. The slowness of the pitch in the afternoon did have its effect on India's innings against Sri Lanka, though, with Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli looking to work the ball around rather than score boundaries. The dew in the evening may also affect the Bangladesh spinners, and with India having proved recently that they can chase pretty much anything, MS Dhoni may be tempted to deviate from his bat-first policy.


After Ravindra Jadeja's poor performance in India's first match, Yusuf Pathan may get an opportunity in the second. India may also consider bringing in Rahul Sharma for either R Vinay Kumar or Praveen Kumar, who were both expensive against Sri Lanka, but Dhoni has always preferred having three medium-pacers in the side. Manoj Tiwary still awaits his opportunity after scoring a century in the last ODI he played for India, but it is hard to see who could replace in the XI. Rohit Sharma did not get an opportunity in the first game, Suresh Raina showed signs of returning to form and Virat Kohli will not want to miss a game being in the form he is in.

India (probable): 1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 Sachin Tendulkar, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Rohit Sharma, 5 MS Dhoni, 6 Suresh Raina, 7 Yusuf Pathan, 8 Irfan Pathan, 9 R Ashwin, 10 R Vinay Kumar, 11 Praveen Kumar

Mushfiqur Rahim defended the decision to play just six specialist batsmen against Pakistan, so will probably go in with the same strategy.

Bangladesh (probable): 1 Nazimuddin, 2 Tamim Iqbal, 3 Jahurul Islam, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim, 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Mahmudullah, 7 Nasir Hossain, 8 Abdur Razzak, 9 Mashrafe Mortaza, 10 Shafiul Islam, 11 Shahadat Hossain

Stats and Trivia

  • Virat Kohli averages 152.00 in four ODIs against Bangladesh, with two centuries. He has the opportunity to become the first India batsman, and the fifth overall, to score hundreds in three consecutive ODIs
  • Though MS Dhoni has received criticism for his Test performances, in ODIs, since the World Cup, he averages 99.85 in 16 innings, with nine not outs helping his average


"The spinners have struggled so far, but they have to try and do a better job. If they're trying hard, I'm happy."
Mushfiqur Rahim knows the slow bowlers are his main weapon

"Australian tracks were really good for the seamers because of the extra bounce, but here [in the subcontinent] compared to other countries you have to mix it up more, bowl slower balls and use variations."
R Vinay Kumar is aware India need to adapt their game quickly after three months in Australia

Edited by Tariq Engineer

Dustin Silgardo is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 18, 2012, 7:14 GMT

    Our aim to get just another win rather than final

  • Syed on March 16, 2012, 16:14 GMT

    @landl47 sir, you know what... reading this article in the morning and reading your comment here just made me a bit angry as to the fact that you said Sachin cant pride much over the hundredth 100 if he scores it against Bangladesh... so the result of today's match is to remind you that never underestimate any opponent that you play against!!! :D NOW do you think Sachin can pride over it?? well I think you were sort of Right, coz his hundredth 100 couldnt give the Indians a victory today!! :P

    YAY to Bangladesh Cricket!!! They pulled of a splendid one!!! Memorable game!!!

  • Cricket on March 16, 2012, 12:49 GMT

    @ Kumail_Asadi on (March 16 2012, 08:32 AM GMT) :-- I agree with you. Infact what worries me is that even when sachin scored the 98th 100 against England in the world cup that match was TIED. Then when he scored his 99th 100 against South Africa again in the world cup , India LOST that match. Now today SRT and Virat have been very slow in persuit of their personal milestones and india has been about 40-50 runs short in setting the target. I HOPE INDIA WINS THIS MATCH OTHERWISE SRT's 100s WILL BE VIEWED WITH GREAT SUSPICION. Luckily Bangladesh do not have a threatening batting line-up, so It may not be so dangerous for India and SRT may get away with it this time.

  • Cricket on March 16, 2012, 12:07 GMT

    99th 100 on 12.3.2011, . & , 100th 100 on 16.3.2012 . . What a wait. Today the team has literally played for his 100th and Virat's 3rd on the trot 100s. The slow scoring cost india atleast 40-50 runs to the team. I hope India goes on to win this match, because if Bangladesh goes on to get this total, this match will not be rememebered for the 100th but will be remembered with contempt for loosing the match for the 100th.

  • Cricket on March 16, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    @ freo75 on (March 16 2012, 11:07 AM GMT) :- I agree with you. This milestone of combired ODI's and Tests Hundreds has been actually invented for SRT. This invention means nothing to the real statistics. But now SRT is on track for his 50th 100 in ODI's. Only he will need one more Bangladesh or a lower team to get it. Does he not realise what harm he is doing to his reputation in persuit of these meaningless milestones. By the way if because of this slow scoring by India, Bangladesh goes on to win this match, SRT will get a tag of panvati (unlucky) hundred.

  • Cricket on March 16, 2012, 11:08 GMT

    finally srt gets the wreched 100th. i must say the way it has come i dont find anything to be proud of.

  • simon on March 16, 2012, 11:07 GMT

    Probably the most selfish innings I have ever seen. Tendulkar cost the team about 40 runs because of his pursuit of a selfish (and need I say completely irrelevant) milestone.

  • Cricket on March 16, 2012, 11:00 GMT

    Shame on Tendulkar (tendya). After all he needed bangladesh to get his 100th 100. sitill he will be shameless enough to celebrate it. it proves that now he is finished.

  • Cricket on March 16, 2012, 10:42 GMT

    173/2 after 35.5 ovrs. V.Kohli out just now b Abdur Razzak 66. Both these great cricketers were playing for their personal mislestones. Virat wanted the 3rd hundred on the trott to be levels with Z.Abbas, S.Anwar, B.Lara, AB.Develiers etc. And S.Tendulkar (SRT) is striving for his 100th 100. They were very slow. Virat has missed his milestone. SRT seems to be on track for his personal milestone. does not matter if the scoring is slow. But if in the end by any chance Bangladesh go on to win this match the blame will be squarely on SRT and Virat for playing for their personal milestones.

  • Dummy4 on March 16, 2012, 10:33 GMT

    what is ravindra jadeja doing in this Indian line up; he is neither a bowler nor a batsman; can't bowl 10 overs in a match and definitely not a pinch hitter to whatever standard; a wasted spot at the moment which can be used for aspiring good cricketers like Tiwary.

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