Bangladesh eye historic series win | The Daily Star
09:37 PM, June 20, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:42 PM, June 21, 2015

India's pride on the line as Bangladesh eye historic series win

MATCH FACTS

Start time 3:00pm local

BIG PICTURE

Roughly once every three bilateral series, Bangladesh win the first match. They have done the same in the last two series at home, against Zimbabwe and Pakistan. There used to be a time in the mid-2000s when Bangladesh starting off well meant complacency, but the current team has shown more consistency.

India have never seen this side of Bangladesh before. The hosts have been beaten India just four times, including the 79-run victory on Thursday. The three other wins - 2004, 2007 and 2012 - came sporadically and only of those was in a bilateral series. India were ultimately knocked out of the 2007 World Cup, and failed to make the final of the 2012 Asia Cup following the other two defeats.

India were given an early taste of the new Bangladesh when Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar added the team's first 100-plus opening stand against India. They brought about a wobble but soon enough, Shakib Al Hasan and Sabbir Rahman rescued a flagging innings. Bangladesh's 307 was also their first 300-plus score against India.

R Ashwin was once again India's standout bowler, getting the breakthroughs and keeping a tight leash whenever possible. Among their three-man pace attack however, Mohit Sharma's 53 off 4.4 overs was far too costly even on a slow wicket. MS Dhoni's other handicap was Ravindra Jadeja, who bowled eight overs while Suresh Raina completing his 10. Dhoni will also expect Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan to come good with the bat and Rohit Sharma to build on his promising starts.

Bangladesh's traditional comfort in ODIs as compared to Tests and T20s, has reflected in their numbers this year. Before the first ODI, Mashrafe Mortaza had asked his side to play like a top-four team, and going by the number of wins in 2015, Bangladesh are fourth behind World Cup finalists New Zealand, world champions Australia, and South Africa.

FORM GUIDE

Bangladesh: WWWWL (last five matches, most recent first)

India: LLWWW

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

When Tamim Iqbal gets a 50-plus score, he invariably bats at a higher strike-rate. His 60 in the first ODI came at a similar tempo, but he gave his wicket away too soon. Bangladesh would want a similar but longer innings.

The last time Virat Kohli had a string of low scores was just before the World Cup, when he made 9, 4, 3* and 8 in the tri-series against England and Australia. He responded with a century against Pakistan in the World Cup opener. Bangladesh will be wary.

TEAM NEWS

The home side are likely to continue with their new four-man pace attack. Arafat Sunny may only get a look in if there's a last-minute injury or the team management sees something different in the Mirpur pitch. Mominul Haque and Rony Talukdar are likely to bide their time in the bench.

Bangladesh (probable): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Soumya Sarkar, 3 Litton Das, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Sabbir Rahman, 7 Nasir Hossain, 8 Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), 9 Rubel Hossain, 10 Mustafizur Rahman, 11 Taskin Ahmed.

Rohit Sharma, at the pre-match press conference, didn't give any indication of India pondering changes. Dhoni had also said after the first ODI that he thought they bowled to their strengths. But Stuart Binny is an option if India want a longer batting line-up and a tight medium-pacer. Dhawal Kulkarni is also around if they want to experiment.

India (probable): 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Ajinkya Rahane, 5 Suresh Raina 6 MS Dhoni (capt &wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Umesh Yadav, 11 Mohit Sharma.

PITCH AND CONDITIONS

The entire strip of pitches in Mirpur does not change much in character. There will be enough abrasion for the spinners to come into play early on. Rain has once again been forecast in Mirpur on Sunday.

STATS AND TRIVIA

Bangladesh are on their longest winning streak at home - nine games. They beat Zimbabwe 5-0 and Pakistan 3-0 before taking the 1-0 lead over India. Their previous best run was from November 30 to December 17, 2006.

Mustafizur Rahman became the seventh Bangladesh pace bowler to take five or more wickets in an ODI. Spinners have taken five five-fors.

QUOTES

"I am not happy at all with the last game. That's the scary part: we still can improve in all departments. We played better against Pakistan. I think we are looking to improve from the next game."

Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha believes Bangladesh can close out the series in the second ODI.

"They have got nothing to lose. India have everything to lose. We have to extra careful."

Rohit Sharma is wary of the hosts' threat.

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