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Rediff.com  » Cricket » T20 tri-series: India unlikely to experiment against Bangladesh

T20 tri-series: India unlikely to experiment against Bangladesh

March 13, 2018 15:08 IST

A few players such as Deepak Hooda, Mohammed Siraj and Axar Patel are yet to play a game in the tournament, which means the purpose of sending a second string side has not been served.

IMAGE: India coach Ravi Shastri, left, with captain Rohit Sharma. Photograph: BCCI

India would like to throw the mathematical possibilities out of the window and seal their place in the final of the Twenty20 tri-series when they face a tricky Bangladesh, in Colombo, on Wednesday.

Having suffered an unexpected defeat against Sri Lanka in their tournament-opener,  it is highly unlikely that India will experiment against a resurgent Bangladesh in their final league stage match.

 

Bangladesh's confidence has been boosted by their record 215-run chase against Sri Lanka and a win against India will bolster their chances of making it to the final.

A defeat may not be end of the road for India as it will then depend on the outcome of final game between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, with the net run-rate also coming into the equation.

With back-to-back victories in the last two games, India have a healthy net run-rate of +0.21.

For India, the tournament at the beginning was about giving youngsters a chance in the absence of seasoned players but for a side which is always under scanner, results will be paramount and that could effectively stop them from being adventurous in team selection.

IMAGE: India's players during a training session in Colombo. Photograph: BCCI

A few players such as Deepak Hooda, Mohammed Siraj and Axar Patel are yet to play a game in the tournament, which means the purpose of sending a second string side has not been served. Hooda, for instance, did not get to play even during the home series against Sri Lanka.

For India the biggest worry is skipper Rohit Sharma's form. One of India's most successful white ball players in recent times, the talented Mumbaikar is waiting for that one big knock that will propel him back to form.

India have not got good starts in the tournament despite Shikhar Dhawan's blazing form, having hit two fifties in three games, as his opening partner Rohit has been dismissed cheaply in all the matches.

Suresh Raina has got off to starts, while Manish Pandey has remained steady in the middle-order. Dinesh Karthik's 39 off 25 balls against Sri Lanka has ensured that Rishabh Pant will continue to warm the dug-out.

It will be interesting to see if Rohit promotes KL Rahul to open the innings and himself comes down at No 4 -- something that he has done for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League over the years.

Manish Pandey

IMAGE: Manish Pandey hits out. Photograph: BCCI

Rahul is a specialist opener, who is also used as a floater in the middle-order. He was looking far more comfortable than Pant during his short stay in the Monday's game before he was dismissed in a freak manner, getting hit-wicket.

More than the batsmen, the bigger challenge will be faced by the bowlers against an unpredictable batting line-up like Bangladesh.

In their last encounter, India did well to restrict them to 139 but in their very next match, the likes of Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim hammered the Sri Lankan attack into submission chasing down the highest-ever target on Sri Lankan soil.

In the bowling department, IPL's costliest Indian buy Jaydev Unadkat (Rs 11.5 crore) has been expensive in all three matches with the left-arm pacer not being able to finish his quota of four overs in two of three games -- 1/35 in 3 overs vs Sri Lanka, 3/38 in 4 overs vs Bangladesh, 1/33 in 3 overs vs Sri Lanka.

Unadkat's experience will keep him in the playing eleven even though there is Siraj, who is a few clicks quicker compared to the Saurashtra pacer.

While Shardul Thakur has done well in the last two games, Vijay Shankar has also been steady with his seam up stuff.

Among the spinners, young offie Washington Sundar has done exceedingly well opening the bowling in the Powerplay overs in every game.

The more celebrated Yuzvendra Chahal has been expensive in both games against Sri Lanka and at times it seemed that he is not as effective as he is when Kuldeep Yadav operates from the other end.

Squads:

India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shikhar Dhawan (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Vijay Shankar, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohammad Siraj and Rishabh Pant.

Bangladesh: Mahmudullah (captain), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Mushfiqur Rahim (wicket-keeper), Sabbir Rahman, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Abu Hider, Abu Jayed, Ariful Haque, Nazmul Islam, Nurul Hasan, Mehidy Hasan, Liton Das.

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