India eye semis, Bangladesh fight
March 28, 2014
Start time 1930 local (1330 GMT)
Similarities between last year's Champions Trophy and this World T20 were a thought before the tournament began, but two India matches later it seems this is exactly identical. Even as India have - against whatever trends you can develop in Twenty20 games - done extremely well, in two days the Supreme Court of India has turned the heat on the Indian cricket administration.
This time last year MS Dhoni had a series of question marks against him through his involvement with India Cements, whose managing director had saved his job, but he managed to ward away all evil with a stunning Champions Trophy win. The questions are back, this time with much more force, as a day before India's third match in World T20 the Supreme Court heard from prosecution that Dhoni had lied under oath in trying to maintain distance between Chennai Super Kings and Guruanth Meiyappan, who used team information for illegal betting.
On the field, though, two exceptional days with the ball have made sure India are within striking distance of progression to the semi-finals. In fact, even before they start their third match - never mind more wrath of the court anticipated in the morning - if West Indies beat Australia in the afternoon, India will be all but through to the next round. All they will need to do after that is beat Bangladesh, who will be desperate to prove that phrases such as "all the opposition has to do" are not used in the same sentence as "beat Bangladesh".
After getting the hopes of the home crowds up by beating Afghanistan emphatically, the hosts have brought much pain to the crowds by losing to Hong Kong and tamely so to West Indies. In four matches, not a single batsman has batted long enough to score a fifty, catches have been dropped regularly, and ground fielding has been poor. You cannot expect to win playing in that manner. Bangladesh once compounded India's off-field misery when they beat them in the World Cup in 2007 to bring to an end the controversial tenure of Greg Chappell. If they are to do something similar here, we will need a team unrecognisable from the one that has taken the field in the last two matches.
Form guide(most recent first)
Watch out for
These are times when you look for talismans. Bangladesh's for a long time has been Shakib Al Hasan. Since the last World T20, he has averaged 37.33 with the bat and 8.50 with the ball. Bangladesh will need him to carry them if tables are to be turned.
The heat is on on Yuvraj Singh, who dropped another catch and gave India a few nervous moments with his 19-ball 10 in an otherwise easy chase against West Indies. He has enjoyed the confidence of his captain and his team-mates, but does the rope run long enough to survive another failure?
Nasir Hossain is likely to come back after his axing failed to improve the general batting standards, but Mahmudullah could keep his place despite two dropped catches against West Indies. Shamsur Rahman is likely to play too. Mashrafe Mortaza did the pre-match press conference, but as always his place in the team can't be confirmed till the last minute due to his side strain and rib injury.
Bangladesh 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Anamul Haque, 3 Mominul Haque, 4 Shakib Al Hasan, 5 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt. & wk), 6 Shamsur Rahman/Sabbir Rahman, 7 Nasir Hossain/Mahmudullah, 8 Ziaur Rahman, 9 Sohag Gazi, 10 Mashrafe Mortaza, 11 Al-Amin Hossain
India have no pressing reason to make a change now that they have shown confidence in Yuvraj in public.
India (possible) 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Suresh Raina, 5 Yuvraj Singh, 6 MS Dhoni (capt. & wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Amit Mishra, 10 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 11 Mohammed Shami
Stats and trivia
- Yuvraj Singh is the only Indian to have won more than two Man-of-the-Match awards. In just three appearances for India, Amit Mishra has joined five other Indians on two match awards.
- Bhuvneshwar Kumar's figures of 3-0-3-0 were the joint-most economical for three or more overs in a Twenty20 international.
- Take out Zimbabwe, and West Indies are the only big-time team that Bangladesh have beaten in T20Is.
Quotes"We lost the two games pretty disappointingly. We want to play well, fight as much as we can. We will play to win for sure, but above everything else, we have to start well."
Mashrafe Mortaza wants to get rid of nerves early
"First priority is to win the match and get the [net] run-rate aspect out of the equation. If we win, net run-rate will be automatically taken care of."
Rohit Sharma doesn't want to complicate things
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo