Bangladesh v India, Group B, Trinidad March 16, 2007

Form and history favour India

Dileep V

India and Bangladesh kick off their World Cup campaign in Trinidad on Saturday. India have dominated their 14 previous encounters, but Bangladesh, with their strong spin attack, have the potential to pull off an upset. Cricinfo checks out the key stats for the two teams.

Bangladesh is the only Test-playing side against which Sachin Tendulkar hasn't scored an ODI century © Getty Images

  • India's ODI record in the Caribbean isn't great: of the 20 matches they have played, only five have ended in wins. Bangladesh have won two out of five, but both those wins came against fairly modest opposition, Canada and Bermuda.

  • The Indians form a major chunk of the population in Trinidad, but the team's performance here hasn't brought them much cheer: of the 9 matches played at this venue India have won 2 and lost 7 of them.

  • Of the 14 ODIs between them India has won 13 and Bangladesh has scrapped a single win, edging India by 14 runs at Dhaka in 2004-05. Interestingly, this will be the first time the two teams will play each other outside the subcontinent.

  • The Indians have been perennial slow starters in the World Cup. They have lost 5 of their opening matches in previous editions of the tournament. Of their three wins two have come against non-Test-playing nations.

  • Sachin Tendulkar has made runs against most sides, but Bangladesh is the one Test-playing side against which he hasn't scored a one-day hundred. Considering his average in first games of the World Cup is 80.67 (242 runs for three dismissals), expect another big score on Saturday.

  • Sourav Ganguly has particularly enjoyed facing up to the Bangladesh attack: in nine games, he has scored 393 runs at an average of 56.14. Tendulkar averages 49.57 against them, but Rahul Dravid has struggled, managing just119 runs from four innings.

  • Bangladesh's star batsman in recent times has been Shahriar Nafees. He has played 16 games this season, scoring 708 runs at an impressive average of 54.46 with three centuries, of which two of them were back to back.

  • Habibul Bashar, the Bangladesh captain, has scored 2020 ODI runs, but he has yet to score a run in World Cup matches. He played two games in 2003 - against Canada and New Zealand - and got ducks in both.

  • Bangladesh's spinners have been their main strength, but India have handled them pretty well - Mohammad Rafique, their most experienced spinner, has taken 12 wickets in 11 games at an average of 37 and an economy rate of 4.72.

  • Spin is usually India's strength, but it hasn't been such a weapon against Bangladesh. Harbhajan Singh has struggled against them, taking just three wickets in five matches at an average of 50.33. Zaheer khan and Ajit Agarkar have done much better, averaging 12.42 and 15.37.

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