India begin title defence against dangerous floaters
Match factsSaturday June 6
Start time 1800 local (1700 GMT)
Big PictureThe mis-hit scoop from Misbah-ul-Haq continues to serve India even in the second World Twenty20. Being the top seeds by virtue of winning the inaugural edition, India get to be in the group that has two relatively weak teams, Bangladesh and Ireland. Their place in the Super Eights should be a mere formality.
Bangladesh have the ability to succeed in the shortest format. They started the last World Twenty20 with that promise, beating West Indies in the league stages to qualify for the Super Eights and earn a higher seed in this edition. But they are yet to win a game since that win.
They may be favourites for one of the two Super Eights slots from Group A but it's against India, not Ireland, that they will want to put up a special show. They need not struggle for motivation: in the past they have tended to raise their game against India. Look no further than the World Cup in 2007, when they were responsible for knocking India out.
The shrewd planning and format of the tournament, though, means this game is most likely to count for nothing - unless Ireland spring up a surprise. For if, as expected, India and Bangladesh go through to the second round, they neither carry any points nor get an easier group in the Super Eights by the virtue of having won both matches.
Form guide(last five matches, most recent first)
They have shown flashes of brilliance with the bat in the warm-up games (including a score of 206 against Netherlands), but against tougher opponents those flashes have been too short-lived even by Twenty20 standards. Their bowling is the main area of concern, and was at its worst when Australia plundered 219 against them.
A modest run of recent results for the world champions owes to their poor record against New Zealand. They are yet to beat New Zealand in Twenty20s, and the last two defeats came in the Southern Hemisphere. The trend continued when they lost to New Zealand even in their first warm-up game, but they will take heart from the thrashing they handed Pakistan.
Watch out for...In the warm-ups Rohit Sharma batted as if he has been batting in England for a long time now. That too, filling in for Virender Sehwag as an opener. His 53-ball 80 against Pakistan was a perfect opener's innings in a Twenty20 chase.
In a tough chase against Australia, after his flashier mates had come and gone, Shakib Al Hasan kept Bangladesh alive but ran out of partners. India will have to be careful against Bangladesh's best player in all forms of cricket.
Team newsIf the weather helps seamers - and rain is forecast - Bangladesh could go for an extra seamer, given the quality of their part-time spinners. While Mashrafe Mortaza and Rubel Hossain are almost certain, the choice is between Shahadat Hossain and Syed Rasel.
Bangladesh (probable) 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Junaid Siddique, 3 Mohammad Ashraful (capt.), 4 Shakib Al Hasan, 5 Mahmudullah, 6 Raqibul Hasan, 7 Mushfiqur Rahim, 8 Mashrafe Mortaza, 9 Rubel Hossain, 10 and 11 Shahadat Hossain/Naeem Islam/Syed Rasel/Abdur Razzak
India are yet to decide on their combination, largely due to shoulder injuries to Zaheer Khan and Virender Sehwag. Zaheer bowled in the nets, but Sehwag didn't bat. If that is an indicator, Rohit could continue opening. India might choose not to rush Zaheer back, this not being a crucial match.
India (probable) 1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Suresh Raina, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 MS Dhoni (capt./wk), 6 Yusuf Pathan, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 and 10 Irfan Pathan/Praveen Kumar/RP Singh/Zaheer Khan, 11 Ishant Sharma
Pitch and conditionsTrent Bridge has been a high-scoring venue in the warm-ups. The weather, though, was cloudy today with temperatures in the teens. Rain is forecast for tomorrow.
Stats and Trivia
- This will be the first Twenty20 meeting between India and Bangladesh. They qualified in separate Super Eights groups in 2007.
"I don't think this team is about flukes any more. They have done the work. We have really good depth in batting and bowling now."
Jamie Siddons, Bangladesh coach
"From the media's side it is important that they report responsibly. If some statement has been made that there's been infighting, I think it's not true, it's irresponsible."
India coach Gary Kirsten is unhappy about the rumours of an alleged rift between Sehwag and Dhoni
Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo