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Match Preview – India vs Bangladesh, ICC Cricket World Cup 2023/24, 17th Match


Match Preview – India vs Bangladesh, ICC Cricket World Cup 2023/24, 17th Match

Big Picture: Can Bangladesh spring a surprise?

The defending champions have been upset by Afghanistan. Australia haven’t looked like Australia of World Cups past. Pakistan seem lacking too. And the South African juggernaut fell apart against Netherlands. Of all the pre-tournament favourites, only India and New Zealand have played like favourites. The latter have made it four wins in four, and now India are looking to do the same, against Bangladesh in Pune.

Bangladesh may have a favourable 3-1 ODI record against India in the last 12 months – most recently winning their Super Four encounter in the Asia Cup last month – but beating India in India is easier said than done.

The hosts have played with plenty of main-character energy in their first three fixtures, scoring convincing victories against Australia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. They were tested to varying degrees in all those games – reduced to 3 for 2 in the chase against Australia; Afghanistan setting a target of 273; and Babar Azam and Mohammed Rizwan building a solid platform – but in the end it wasn’t even close.

India’s outstanding bowling attack, led by Jasprit Bumrah, has taken 28 out of a possible 30 wickets so far, while they have lost only nine wickets in three chases and never more than four in a game. Rohit Sharma ultra-aggressive’s approach has been the highlight of their batting performances and he’s got another batting-friendly surface waiting for him in Pune.

Bangladesh’s only win against India in the ODI World Cup was 16 years ago – in Trinidad in 2007. Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim were just starting their careers then, and they have played India three times on the biggest stage since, losing quite convincingly on each occasion.

This Bangladesh squad has enough experience and young talent in their ranks to stretch India, but their current form isn’t promising. Mushfiqur has scored two fifties in three matches so far but the rest have struggled with consistency. Najmul Hossain Shanto and Litton Das had one good knock each. Rookie Tanzid Hasan hasn’t had much impact. Towhid Hridoy, who scored 500 runs before the World Cup this year, is batting lower than his usual No. 5 position. Mehidy Hasan Miraz also hasn’t been effective.

Shakib suffered a quadriceps injury last week but could play – as per their coach, Bangladesh are awaiting results of a scan done on match eve before taking the final decision.* With Bangladesh looking to lengthen their batting by having Mahmudullah at No. 8, Mahedi Hasan and Nasum Ahmed, both of whom played a part in the Asia Cup win against India, are unlikely to make the XI.

Whether Bangladesh runs India close or not could come down to how their fast bowlers fare. Mustafizur Rahman aside, the others have been off-colour. Shoriful Islam has been expensive at times and Taskin Ahmed is not the force he was earlier this year. If these three, or Hasan Mahmud and Tanzim Hasan, can fire it will give Bangladesh a stronger foothold in the contest.

Form guide

India WWWLW (last five ODIs, most recent first)

Bangladesh LLWLL

In the spotlight: Kuldeep Yadav and Najmul Hossain Shanto

Kuldeep Yadav has five wickets from three games and his economy of 3.9 in 30 overs is testament to the control he’s offered during the middle overs. He revealed recently that increasing his pace has allowed him to bowl better in the last 12 months. Bangladesh’s most recent memory of Kuldeep is his eight-wicket haul in the Chattogram Test late last year – India will be hoping for more of the same from him.

After his unbeaten fifty against Afghanistan, Najmul Hossain Shanto‘s low scores against England and New Zealand have had an impact on Bangladesh’s top-order returns. His free-flowing batting has been a huge boost to Bangladesh in 2023 and they desperately need him back among the runs.

Team news: Bangladesh to gamble with extra bowler?

India are unlikely to change their winning combination. The small ground dimensions and flat pitch could mean that Shardul Thakur is likely to keep his spot ahead of R Ashwin.

India (probable): 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Shreyas Iyer, 5 KL Rahul (wk), 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Shardul Thakur, 9 Jasprit Bumrah, 10 Kuldeep Yadav, 11 Mohammed Siraj

If Bangladesh can play Shakib, they will. They could be tempted to promote Mehidy Hasan Miraz to open with Litton and Mushfiqur could also bat higher in the order. The question is whether Bangladesh will look to strengthen their bowling by sacrificing some batting depth.

Bangladesh (probable): 1 Tanzid Hasan, 2 Litton Das, 3 Najmul Hossain Shanto, 4 Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 5 Towhid Hridoy, 6 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 7 Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 8 Mahmudullah, 9 Taskin Ahmed, 10 Shoriful Islam, 11 Mustafizur Rahman

Pitch and conditions: High scores in Pune?

Since 2017, teams batting first have posted 300-plus totals in three out of five ODIs in Pune, though this will be the first international at this venue in nine months. There was some drizzle on the eve of the match but the forecast is for sunshine on match day.

Stats and trivia: A 25-year wait ends

  • This is Bangladesh’s first ODI against India in India in 25 years. From those who played their previous ODI against India at the Wankhede in 1998, Minhajul Abedin is the current chief selector, Khaled Mahmud is the team director, and Athar Ali Khan is a TV commentator.
  • Virat Kohli has an average 67.25 and strike rate of 101.25 in 15 ODIs against Bangladesh, with four centuries.
  • Shakib, Taskin and Mustafizur all have five-wicket hauls against India in ODIs.
  • Quotes

    “He had a good batting session yesterday. He did a bit of running between the wickets as well. We are waiting for the result of the scan we did today. We haven’t tried his bowling yet. We will assess him tomorrow morning, and make a decision. If he is not ready to play, we won’t risk it. If he is ready, there’s a chance of him playing tomorrow.”
    Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusinghe on Shakib Al Hasan’s availability status

    “When you enter a World Cup, every team will pose you a challenge. So, from our perspective, I don’t think we’ll take anyone lightly.”
    India’s bowling coach Paras Mhambrey on Bangladesh

    The preview was updated after the Bangladesh pre-match press conference.

    Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

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