As Bangladesh faces India at Edgbaston, the equation is pretty easy for the Tigers. Win both remaining games and hope for England to lose their match against New Zealand - only then they can reach the semis. Well, the second part of the equation is not in their hands, but the first is and they’ll face India in their penultimate group stage match. And India, are not unbeatable.
Yes, India are the better side. But, have Bangladesh beaten them? Yes. Have Bangladesh beaten them in a World Cup match? Yes, with a far weaker side than this. The question is, will they?
India’s batting has been one of the best in the world, but with Shikhar Dhawan out, it lacks a fiery start. Rishabh Pant at No.4 has just played one match, whereas MS Dhoni has looked like a shadow of his past glory and Kedar Jhadav has been looking like an average player who just makes up the eleven. But Bangladesh’s problem this time around has been their bowling, which has looked toothless. Bangladesh are the only team to concede over 380 twice this World Cup, and they have only picked up 43 wickets in their six games. Among those 43, Shakib, Saifuddin and Mustafiz has picked 10 each, which underlines the lack of threat from the Bangladeshi bowling. Their batting has been impressive, though. They remain the only side till date to chase down a 300+ score this World Cup, and they chased down 322 against Windies with 51 balls to spare. They have already broken their record of highest score in ODIs twice this World Cup, and they don’t look to stop there. They’ll have to be at their brilliant best at bowling and a great performance from their batting to beat the current best team in ODIs.
On the other hand, India have some problems of their own. Their bowling has been quite fantastic, with Bumrah being tremendous and Mohammad Shami picking up 13 wickets in only three matches. Their concern would be their batting, and when you hear India is concerned with their batting, that is a huge surprise. With Dhawan out of the equation, KL Rahul has struggled opening the batting. Vijay Shankar was tried at No.4 but that didn’t work out, and Rishabh Pant really looked unsettled against England. Virat Kohli has scored five consecutive fifties, but he hasn’t gone on to score big, and that is a big concern. Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya has looked in fine fettle, but their batting lineup looks a lot weaker than it looked at the start of the tournament.
Four players from that Bangladesh triumph against India in 2007 World Cup are in this side and the hero of that victory, Mashrafe Mortaza, is the captain of the pack. He might be past his peak but still he is a toughee to handle at the beginning. MS Dhoni is the only Indian player from that defeat, and he will obviously try to make sure that does not happen again.
Bangladesh might bring in Rubel in place of Mehidy Hasan considering his brilliant record against Virat Kohli, albeit he went for runs in his only match against Australia. Mahmudullah Riyad has started batting in the nets, which means he is raring to go.
Probable Lineup - 1. Tamim Iqbal, 2. Soumya Sarkar, 3. Shakib Al Hasan, 4. Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 5. Liton Das, 6. Mahmudullah Riyad, 7. Mosaddek Hossain, 8. Saifuddin, 9. Mehidy Hasan/Rubel Hossain, 10. Mashrafe Mortaza ©, 11. Mustafizur Rahman
Bhuvneshwar Kumar is fit but Mohammad Shami in his place has been destructive, which means India are likely to be unchanged.
Probable Lineup - 1. Rohit Sharma, 2. KL Rahul, 3. Virat Kohli ©, 4. Rishabh Pant, 5. Kedar Jhadav, 6. MS Dhoni (wk), 7. Hardik Pandya, 8. Kuldeep Yadav, 9. Mohammad Shami, 10. Yuzvendra Chahal, 11. Jasprit Bumrah
Pitch and Weather
The Edgbaston pitch has been two paced, and if the match is on a used pitch, the ball will stop on the batsmen and slower balls will turn out to be pretty effective.
The weather forecast predicts very little chance of rain, with a soothing temperature for the subcontinental sides.