India vs Bangladesh: Champions Trophy preview

Rafiqul Ameer Roar Pro

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    India and Bangladesh will go head-to-head in the next Champions Trophy semi-final, the winner through to face Pakistan in the final.

    India

    Form, past records, international experience, everything suggests that it would be a straightforward victory for India. However, complacency might get in their way.

    The Strong Points
    In-form top 3. The Indian top three of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Shekhar Dhawan; has a big reputation and in this Champions trophy they have so far lived up to that. All have at least two decent innings here; with Dhawan excelling in each match.

    Before the tournament there were concerns regarding the form of Kohli and Rohit Sharma; but they have picked up at the right time.

    The opening pair is ideally suited to take advantage of the field restrictions during the power-play. The pair is not so good in running between the wickets, but they are experts in finding the fences.

    Normally, it takes only one or two of these three to fire, for India to post or chase a big score.

    It was Rohit Sharma’s big hundred (posted with a bit of luck), that made the difference between the two teams in the 2015 WC QF. I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes the Tigers’ bogeyman again.

    Balanced bowling attack. Twice in this tournament Indian bowlers, backed up by excellent fielding, have bowled the opposition out.

    The introduction of Ravichandran Ashwin against South Africa gave the bowling more variety. In their bowling line up, no one excels in particular, but they seem to do the job together.

    We saw Australia relying too heavily on Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, while South Africa depended too much on Imran Tahir. In the Indian team, the pressure is well distributed.

    The Weak Points
    Absence of a genuine all-rounder. It appears that in the new ODI rules the roles of all-rounders have diminished considerably.

    Although Ben Stokes and Shakib Al Hasan have cracked match winning hundreds, the contribution of all-rounders haven’t yet reached the expected levels, with Corey Anderson and Moises Henriques being the outstanding failures.

    Still, the absence of a genuine all-rounder might hurt India. Hardik Pandya’s record is good, but he is still relatively unproven having played only 10 ODIs. If he develops himself as a top class all rounder, then India can boast about having a completely balanced team.

    Prospect of complacency. India came into this event as one of the favorites, and barring the Sri Lanka match, they have looked very strong.

    They completely thrashed the Tigers in a practice match prior to the event, but the match against Sri Lanka showed that this Indian team is not unbeatable.

    Virat Kohli runs after hitting a drive

    (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

    Bangladesh

    Bangladesh goes into this match as the clear under dogs.

    India outplayed them in the 2015 world cup quarter-final, and defeated them in the Asia Cup Final in early 2016.

    However, Bangladesh won a historic ODI series 2-1 against India in 2015. So, they would carry that memory into the Edgbaston match.

    The Strong Points
    Good form of the experienced players. The Bangladesh team includes five players who have served the team extremely well over the last decade or so. Skipper Mashrafee, along with Shakib, Tamim, Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim, has all performed well in this event.

    Mashrafee is leading the team well, Tamim seems relaxed and enjoying the game, while Shakib and Mahmudullah wrote a new page in our cricket history with their heroics against New Zealand.

    All five will be vital for the Tigers’ cause against india.

    Excellent team spirit. Under the capable leadership of Mashrafee, the Bangladesh team looks a happy unit.

    There is good balance of youth and experience, although some of the young players are yet to find their form here.

    Overall, the team members are enjoying themselves, and they should be ready to carry the fight till the very end in the SF.

    The Weak Points
    The lack of form of the young brigade. Soumya, Sabbir and Mustafiz represent the best of the young talents in Bangladesh cricket at the moment.

    Sadly, all three have struggled in this Champions Trophy. Sabbir has problems against genuine pace, and I think he should bat at number 6 against India, with Mahmudullah jumping to number 3.

    India should play Umesh Yadav against Bangladesh in a bid to exploit the weakness of Sabbir and other Bangladeshi batsmen against quality short pitch bowling.

    Mustafiz’s problem is the lack of swing. A remarkable thing about this event is the lack of swing evident in English conditions. Whether the ball used has anything to do with this, I don’t know. Even a world class swing bowler like Boult has struggled here.

    In direct contrast, we have seen good bounce in the wicket, helping the hit the deck bowlers like Adam Milne enjoy success. Taskin impressed against New Zealand and will hope to carry the good form against India.

    If Bangladesh is to put up a good fight against the mighty Indians; then the young brigade needs to roar.

    Bowling in the middle overs. Against New Zealand, Bangladesh kept the opposition batting in check by picking up wickets regularly.

    But, in the first game against England, the bowling looked hapless in the middle overs. It looked like that England could have chased 340 if necessary.

    One reason is that, Bangladesh spinners haven’t yet reached their pick here. Quite remarkably, Shakib, despite his ton against New Zealand, got some criticism from the press here, for his venom-less bowling.

    The thing is that Shakib is at his best as a bowler in the slow turning tracks of the subcontinent. Wickets in England has offered extra bounce, a quality leg spinner could have exploited the advantage better.

    Mosaddek Saikat picked up three cheap wickets against New Zealand, but he would find it lot tougher against India.

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