Nidahas Trophy 2018

India's inexperience a target for Tigers

Mustafizur Rahman
Bangladesh will desperately look to young pace bowler Mustafizur Rahman (C) if they are to make a turnaround to their sagging T20I fortunes in Colombo today. Photo: BCB

Bangladesh's only win in their last 10 T20Is came, interestingly, at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo against Sri Lanka by 45 runs in the second and final match of the series in April last year in then skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza's last T20I game, who announced his retirement at the toss before the first match.

Coming off a disappointing home series against Sri Lanka, Bangladesh can find some positives from the memory of April 6, 2017, as their first Nidahas Trophy match against a relatively inexperienced India -- who went down to a five-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka in the tournament opener on Tuesday -- will take place at the same venue today.

As he hinted during the pre-match media conference yesterday, Bangladesh stand-in skipper Mahmudullah Riyad and his troops can bank on the opposition's inexperience, especially the Indian bowling attack that showed glimpses of panic on Tuesday.

Among the five genuine bowlers who played against Sri Lanka in the tournament opener, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal -- who is set to play his 18th T20I today -- is their most experienced bowler while none among Jaydev Unadkat, Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar and Vijay Shankar have played more than 10 T20Is and have not had a huge impact so far.

The pressure seemed to tell on the Indian bowlers who, defending a challenging total of 174, often offered loose deliveries in crunch situations which allowed the Sri Lanka batsmen to chase the target with nine balls and five wickets to spare.

What Bangladesh can do is try to unsettle the inexperienced Indian bowling line-up by putting extra pressure on them when they come out to bat. As far as the strong Indian batting is concerned, Sri Lanka managed to slow down India's start with two quick wickets and the top-ranked side managed just 40 runs in the Powerplay while Sri Lanka plundered 75.

As Mahmudullah said after the defeat to Sri Lanka in the second T20I in Sylhet last month, it is important to utilise the Powerplay with both bat and ball in a T20 game. In that light, the first six overs may have a big impact today.