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Bangladesh v India, Super Four, Asia Cup, Karachi
Ian Chappell: 'India high on confidence'
June 29, 2008
Suresh Raina stars again as India post a convincing victory
 
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"I was particularly impressed with the way Pragyan Ojha bowled and fielded" © AFP
 

This Indian side are very confident at the moment. Firstly, they showed it with their selection: they were quite prepared to rest their star players and give their bench players an opportunity which paid off because their bench players did quite well. I was particularly impressed with Pragyan Ojha, the left-arm spinner. He bowled tidily and he fielded extremely well. That was the one area where India really let themselves down - they were not very good [in the field]. In fact they have been a bit sloppy throughout the tournament in the field. That is something that they will have to pick up.

The pitch was very good and the conditions didn't suit the bowlers at all. For Bangladesh, it was Alok Kapali who played very well with a century. He hit five sixes and ten fours and it was a dominating innings with a strike-rate of about 120. Bangladesh had got off to a good start thanks to Tamim Iqbal, who scored 55 and looked pretty good. Bangladesh have been in international cricket [as a Test-playing nation] for nearly a decade now and they need to start challenging the stronger nations on a regular basis. And it looked like they were going to do that [challenge India] with a score of 283.

But the Indians are a very confident team. However, they have a couple of problems with their bowling. RP Singh seems to be struggling a little bit at the moment and they would like to get him back in form and as I have said, their fielding was sloppy. But boy, they are definitely confident in their batting. Gautam Gambhir seems to be Mr. Consistency - he loves scoring runs. He did it again today, once again with a strike-rate of better than 100. He controlled the innings right at the start and played some lovely square cuts and late cuts - he loves playing behind point.

A couple of the younger guys were given an opportunity. Robin Uthappa was not able to take advantage of that and Rohit Sharma would be disappointed getting out for 22. But then came Suresh Raina and he is really an improved and impressive young cricketer. He has got a good technique; he plays well off the back foot and the front foot and he plays the spinners as well as the quickies: that's a good all-round batsman. He got another century and his third Man-of-the-Match award in a row. His century came at better than a run a ball and it was a brilliant innings. Raina seems to have filled out a little bit; he seems to have got stronger and he's clearing the boundary very easily. So Raina and Gambhir took India along very comfortably and then it was up to Yuvraj Singh [to take India through] after Gambhir got out for 90 and he finished it off with a couple of sixes and couple of boundaries and he looks pretty good as well.

So India will be very happy with their batting but their bowling and fielding needs to be improved a little bit. Bangladesh will be disappointed after having set India what seemed to have been a tough target. But looking at the conditions it seems that anything under 300 is no where near enough [to defend]. But Bangladesh were terrible in the field; they cost themselves dearly there. But they were up against a strong and confident Indian side.

So India are looking very confident and good to go through to the final. They are on four points and looking very strong in the competition.

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is a cricket commentator for Channel Nine, and a columnist


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