Can Tigers upset India?
Shakib Al Hasan and Co. will have to conjure something special when they take on India at the Adelaide Oval today as they hope to make the T20 World Cup memorable and keep alive hopes of a semifinal berth. The match is scheduled to start from 2:00pm Bangladesh standard time.
For many, the Tigers have already fulfilled their target by winning two games. It also marked the first time Bangladesh won in the main round of the mega-event since the inaugural edition in 2007.
The remaining two Super 12 fixtures against Asian powerhouses India and Pakistan have been labelled a mere formality by some, considering the strength and performances of those opponents.
But there is a historical rivalry tied to Bangladesh-India clashes. The last time the two sides met in the World Cup resulted in a heartbreaking one-run defeat for the Tigers in Bengaluru in 2016.
Bangladesh will be hoping to learn how to win close matches, especially against a limping India, who will be equally hungry for a win that will take them closer to a semifinal spot. They can also take heart from their last game at Adelaide, which saw them defeat England in the 2015 World Cup and book a place in the quarterfinals.
"In T20 matches, the result of the game is mostly decided in the last or second-last over. Since it's a fast-paced game and competition is high, there will be more close matches. So it's important to hold your nerve. We are learning how to reverse the situation compared to what happened previously and win. I'm not saying we have already achieved something, but there has definitely been improvement," Shakib told the media ahead of the game yesterday.
India lost to South Africa in their last group-stage match by five wickets. With four points from three games, Rohit Sharma and his team will be desperate to catch up in the points table by sealing two points against Bangladesh.
On the other hand, Bangladesh may opt for a change in mindset and team combination after a dramatic win against Zimbabwe in their previous game as they aim to 'upset' a rather strong Indian outfit that boasts Virat Kohli in imperious mood.
"India are the favourites. They have come here to win the World Cup. We are not here to win the World Cup," Shakib said. "You can understand the situation. If we win against India, it will be an upset. And we will try our best to upset India," Shakib added.
Weather, however, may play spoilsport, with the forecast suggesting a possibility of rain.