Weather threat looms over India, Bangladesh
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Start time 1300 local (0700 GMT)
A chase of 273 in 50 overs looked like it would represent a proper challenge for a new-look India batting line-up. They had made the perfect start, and were 100 for 1 in the 17th over, thanks to a fluent half-century from Robin Uthappa and a solid sidekick performance from Ajinkya Rahane, when the deluge arrived. Two and a half hours later, when the weather had cleared and after the Shere Bangla National Stadium had revealed the miraculous powers of its drainage system, 173 from 33.2 overs had become 50 from 56 balls.
For a set of batsmen who had only recently emerged from a month-and-a-half's submersion into Twenty20 cricket, this was hardly a test. In the end, then, the first ODI didn't reveal nearly as much about the second string as India would have hoped it would. Bangladesh would have been disappointed their bowlers didn't get a proper crack at defending what was a perfectly good total on a sluggish pitch. Both teams will want the rain to stay away on Tuesday and not come in the way again of fulfilling their objectives from this brief ODI series.
The first part of the match, however, had given India a good chance to test their inexperienced bowling attack. They began well with the new ball, and kept Bangladesh in check for large parts of the innings, but let them get away to a fairly big total.
Bangladesh, in the end, performed the old-school ODI trick of doubling their 30-over score, and will have been particularly encouraged by the performance of their middle order. Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan made brisk half-centuries after a sluggish start from the openers, and Mahmudullah - who had gone through a bit of a horror run of late - showed signs of a return to form with an enterprising 41 at close to a run a ball.
Thanks in large part to Mohit Sharma going off the field with an unspecified injury (the team management didn't clear up the mystery in the post-match press conference, but said on Monday that he is 100% fit to play the second ODI) after bowling 5.4 overs, the spinners ended up bowling eight of the last 10 overs, and Akshar Patel and Amit Mishra in particular took a beating. With Umesh Yadav sending down a poor 48th over as well, India ended up conceding 80 in the last 10. India will want to keep up their new-ball performance and improve their showing at the death, Bangladesh's batsmen will want to do just the opposite.
Bangladesh: LLLLL (most recent first)
In the spotlight
After Sunday's duck, Cheteshwar Pujara now has a total of 13 runs in three ODIs. His career in blue hasn't taken off the way he will have wanted it to, and the rough lbw decision that he got against Shakib Al Hasan - the ball looked to be heading over the top of the stumps - will have compounded his frustration. All he will be asking for on Tuesday is to be able to settle in, because he surely has the game to score runs batting in the top three.
Over 50% of Anamul Haque's ODI runs have come in boundaries, and he finds them with attractive shots all around the ground, but his career strike rate is only 70.32. His 44 on Sunday was a microcosm of his ODI career. He struck seven fours, but failed to score off 38 of the other 53 balls he faced. He must try and come up with ways to rotate the strike better.
Bangladesh's new-ball bowlers didn't make any impression on India's openers on Sunday, and they may as a result want to add more firepower to their seam attack. This could mean that they play Taskin Ahmed, who is reputed to bowl at express pace, and leave out the allrounder Ziaur Rahman.
Bangladesh (possible) 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Anamul Haque, 3 Mominul Haque, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk), 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Nasir Hossain, 7 Mahmudullah, 8 Ziaur Rahman/Taskin Ahmed, 9 Abdur Razzak, 10 Mashrafe Mortaza, 11 Al-Amin Hossain
India's batsmen, apart from the openers, didn't really get to spend a decent length of time in the middle thanks to the rain interruption on Sunday. They will therefore most likely go in with the same top six. The team management, meanwhile, have said Mohit Sharma is fit to play, so an unchanged XI is on the cards.
India (possible) 1 Robin Uthappa, 2 Ajinkya Rahane, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Ambati Rayudu, 5 Suresh Raina (capt), 6 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 7 Akshar Patel, 8 Parvez Rasoool, 9 Amit Mishra, 10 Mohit Sharma, 11 Umesh Yadav
Pitch and conditions
Dhaka has experienced sweltering heat over the last few days, interrupted by spells of heavy rain such as the one that shortened the first ODI. The forecast for Tuesday is no different, with expected maximum temperatures in the high 30s and periodic downpours predicted.
Stats and trivia
- While batting in the first 10-over Powerplay, Anamul Haque, over the course of his ODI career, has only converted 15.15% of the deliveries he has faced into singles. That is less than a single for every over he faces
- Mominul Haque has failed to get into double figures only four times in his 18 ODI innings. But he has gone past 40 only four times
Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo