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The NIdahas T20 Tri Series has been a surprisingly intriguing tournament. All the three teams have played well and put up good contests. India, with two wins out of three, sits on top of the league table but any two teams could still make into the finals. One of the reasons why this tournament is so open has to do with Bangladesh’s incredible victory over Sri Lanka in their last match. Can they actually build on that performance and register their first ever victory over India?
No one needs reminding about Bangladesh’s terrible T20 record. They now have two wins in their last fifteen matches. That is not a record which a team like Bangladesh should possess. The presence of world-class bowlers and some very fine batsmen in the Bangladeshi team makes this record an aberration that will correct itself over a period of time.
We have been clamoring about their poor tactics in the shortest format of the game and even though they won their last match, we still think they need to improve significantly in that area.
The Bangladeshi bowlers continue to make the same mistakes under pressure every single time. This tournament is being played on some very flat batting pitches but that does not excuse the fact that all of Bangladesh’s frontline bowlers went for above 10 runs an over. Only Mehidy Hasan Miraz brought in some semblance of control.
There were no yorkers to be seen, the length was consistently too short, and the line was far too wayward. Even Mustafizur Rahman, a player of immense T20 ability, was found lacking. Bowling is the one area that Bangladesh needs to strengthen otherwise they will have to depend on something extraordinary from their batsmen for victory.
Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, and Mishfiqur Rahim had an excellent day in the last match. Perhaps, it was Liton Das’s explosive start and Mishfiqur Rahim’s inning that mattered more than any other batting performance but every batsman showed the required urgency.
Bangladesh must play aggressive cricket like this going forward as well. It will not be easy against better attacks or in more difficult conditions but they must gradually build towards making themselves a better T20 team.
Against India, their batsmen will be faced with more changes of pace and better-skilled bowlers. Will a similar hell for leather approach work? Maybe not but nothing else has worked for Bangladesh against India so far either.
Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Liton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Sabbir Rahman, Mehidy Hasan, Rubel Hossain, Abu Hider, Mustafizur Rahman, Nazmul Islam.
After an initial hiccup at the start of the tournament, India has now hit its stride with two wins. They would love to win against Bangladesh and ensure their place in the finals as well.
India can still make it to the final after losing this match but that would come down to a net run rate situation that they want to avoid. Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur were the two standout bowlers from the last victory.
They picked wickets regularly and ensured that Sri Lanka was never able to build up a consistent phase of momentum. Sundar, who seems to have become a new ball specialist, was most impressive. He spun the ball, kept a tight line, and forced the batsmen to take too many risks.
He will be targeted by the Bangladeshi batsmen as someone to score off in the power play overs which could allow him to take some more wickets in this match. With Unadkat, Chahal, as backups, both of whom are excellent bowlers, India seems to have a nice second string bowling lineup in place.
Vijay Shankar had a tough time in the last match but he and Raina should be able to complete the fifth bowler's job without too much trouble.
India also finally gave Lokesh Rahul a break in the last match. He did not score too many but we think a big inning from him is around the corner. Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma failed in the last match, something that we believe is good for India in the long run.
It allowed Raina, Pandey, and Karthik to get some valuable batting time in the middle with the fielding team on top. Dhawan and Rohit are class acts that will get back to scoring runs sooner rather than later. If India can develop some middle order strength to back them up then their primary motive from this tournament would have been achieved.
Speaking of Suresh Raina, he now has potentially two matches to really make a big score and force himself back into the ODI team. We are unsure if he has been given instructions from the team management to be ultra aggressive but he just needs to pace his innings a little better.
India’s squad is currently showcasing some impressive depth and they will be a hard team to beat.
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, SK Raina, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, V Shankar, Washington Sundar, SN Thakur, M Siraj, YS Chahal.
The pitches in this tournament have been absolute belters. High scoring matches have been the order of the day and we expect this to continue. Some spin was on offer for the bowlers in the last match but there is nothing that should worry the batsmen just now. Rain has been forecast for the match and we could have plenty of interruptions in the match. A DLS contest will even out the playing field between the two sides further.
India has never lost to Bangladesh in a T20 International. They will be keen to continue that unbeaten streak in the last match as well. We think that Bangladesh is a dangerous team and could definitely pull off a win against an Indian team missing its top-players. With rain around, the chances of an upset always increase, however, we are sticking with India to win this match.
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