Bangladesh v India, Asia Cup, Fatullah February 25, 2014

Test for India's new middle order


Match facts

Wednesday, February 26
Start time 1400 local (0800 GMT)

Big picture

The last time India and Bangladesh met in an ODI was in the 2012 Asia Cup. Then, the hype over Sachin Tendulkar's 100th international hundred was deflated by Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan's well-executed chase of 290.

The memory of that match is something Mushfiqur Rahim will want to go back to in order to boost the sagging spirits of his team. Bangladesh's preparations for the tournament have hardly been ideal. The 3-0 series loss to Sri Lanka was followed by Shakib Al Hasan's three-match suspension and then Mushfiqur publicly aired his disappointment at not being consulted over Asia Cup selections. Tamim Iqbal, the second highest run-getter in ODIs for Bangladesh, is out due to injury and the captain and Mashrafe Mortaza are also carrying niggles.

In the last ODI against Sri Lanka, Bangladesh's middle order, floundering previously in the series, showed some inclination to work for a start. Against India, who have a strong batting side even without MS Dhoni, they will need to go one better and build on the thirties and forties. They need to curb the tendency to suddenly give away their wickets.

In 2012, Mushfiqur had singled out India's bowling as a weakness and that remains true today. Their bowling struggled in New Zealand, and for this tournament they have a relatively raw pace line-up on flat tracks. India's batsmen, except Virat Kohli and Dhoni, struggled for runs in New Zealand but the subcontinent tracks may allow a few of them to find form.

There will also be considerable focus on Kohli in his first high-profile assignment as India captain. Kohli has had two previous stints as captain - in the tri-series against West Indies last year and five ODIs in Zimbabwe.

Form guide

(last five matches, most recent first)

Bangladesh LLLWW

In the spotlight

India's brand-new middle order, brought together by injury and exclusions due to bad form, will be tested. The last Indian team that did not feature MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh or Suresh Raina played in January 2004. Ajinkya Rahane was patchy in the ODIs against New Zealand, while Ambati Rayudu only had a couple of chances. The line-up will be bolstered by Dinesh Karthik, though, as the wicketkeeper has been in good form.

Allrounder Ziaur Rahman was brought into the side to replace an out-of-form Mahmudullah at No. 7. He has two fifties and a mammoth hundred in three of his last four first-class games. This is his chance to stake a claim for a more stable position in the team.

Team news

The composition of India's pace attack and the side's batting depth are the key questions. Cheteshwar Pujara may get in a look-in and India are likely to choose a bowling attack of three seamers and a spinner.

India (probable) 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Cheteshwar Pujara, 5 Ajinkya Rahane/Ambati Rayudu, 6 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Varun Aaron

If Mushfiqur Rahim keeps wicket, Imrul Kayes will replace Anamul Haque as opener, after Anamul's failures in the Sri Lanka series. Ziaur Rahman is likely to replace Mahmudullah while Naeem Islam will continue to play in Shakib Al Hasan's place.

Bangladesh (probable) 1 Shamsur Rahman, 2 Imrul Kayes/Anamul Haque (wk), 3 Mominul Haque, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt), 5 Naeem Islam, 6 Nasir Hossain, 7 Ziaur Rahman, 8 Sohag Gazi, 9 Mashrafe Mortaza, 10 Abdur Razzak, 11 Rubel Hossain

Pitch and conditions

The teams are likely to play on another flat deck but dew may become a factor for the side fielding second.

Stats and trivia

  • In the current squad, Virat Kohli has scored the most runs against Bangladesh in ODIs - 370 runs in five games with two hundreds and two fifties. Kohli has also played the most number of games against Bangladesh among the current Indian squad.

  • No Bangladesh batsman, since Alok Kapali, has scored a hundred against India. Kapali scored his only ton in ODIs against India in June 2008.


"I don't count it as an upset if we win against India. We have done it before."
Mashrafe Mortaza believes Bangladesh can match up to India

"I've been around the scene for some time. Given the opportunity, I will try and use whatever little experience I've had and bat to the best of my ability."
Dinesh Karthik is prepared for the challenge of fitting into India's new middle order

Rachna Shetty is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on February 26, 2014, 12:43 GMT

    India should win this match as they are a good side in the subcontinent. I won't rule out this BD team who has improved immensely over the last few years. May the best team win!

  • kanishka on February 26, 2014, 10:16 GMT

    @Fast_Track_Bully , Dear friend yes according to stats india is still in no2 ODI team But look at the results out side subcontinent & specially in AUS,NZ,ENG & SA'Compare the resuts of IND & SRI for there last tours to those countries.Iin ENG(SL 5-0,IND o-3),in AUS (SL 4-3,IND1-4) in SA(SL 2-3,IND 0-2) in NZ(IND 0-4)'while SL has won 11 ODI matches in those countries(AUS,NZ,ENG,SA) india has won only single match.Thats tell the truth'

  • Lalith on February 26, 2014, 9:49 GMT

    This match will test Dhoni's captaincy.

  • ATUL on February 26, 2014, 9:28 GMT

    VARUN AARON is best suited for Test matches, due to his fast speed, in One dayers he could be an easy meat for the batsmen, as the pitches are flat.

  • Manesh on February 26, 2014, 9:06 GMT

    @kanikandy. lol . Better to learn from kids than SL youngsters. Remove the seniors runs from you last series and see what your great Thiri and Co. did. You are talking about a team who was the U19 WC winner last time and team with ICC Emerging player of the year award winner in it. Kohli is far better than a flat track bully like Sanga. Also check there is an all rounder named Jadeja in ICC ranking 4. Also, with all these less talented youngsters, Indian team is still @ no:2 in all rankings. You are a good entertainer. lol.

  • kanishka on February 26, 2014, 8:34 GMT

    Although BD is the favorite today they should not take India lightly.yes BD had a good close series against formidable SL(probably the best now) & india crashed to NZ.But it dosen't say that BD will have a cake walk.if Koli fires india can win.I think problem with india is that they don't have world class players like Sanga,Malinga,Ajmal or good all rounders like Thisara,Mathews. or Hafeeze or Shakib .Indains cant perform out side of india with the curent bunch of half baked players.So the young indians have to do well as soon as possible to remain in no2 position.Indians youngsters should start to perform like SL youngsters to remain in as a top cricketing nations.

  • ESPN on February 26, 2014, 8:03 GMT

    @cricsnake .if you say ashwin and jadeja are best spinners than ask from kiwis and proteas they ill tell u . Lol. Ajmal hafeez and afridi are best

  • mdarifur on February 26, 2014, 7:57 GMT

    India win game thats big upset for Bangladesh... I m sure Tigers can anything... go tiger go...

  • Naimur on February 26, 2014, 7:51 GMT

    Bangladesh have very poor coaches and captain and do not stand a chance at all

  • Android on February 26, 2014, 7:51 GMT

    Simple equation, both teams has got the young side. Only the best will survive. Good luck tigers...