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Nidahas Trophy: India aim to banish top-order blues against buoyant Bangladesh

Indian cricket team’s top order, with the exception of Shikhar Dhawan, has failed to fire in the Nidahas Trophy 2018 tri-series and it will be hoping to put up a good show against a resurgent Bangladesh cricket team.

cricket Updated: Mar 13, 2018 21:06 IST
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Hindustan Times, Colombo
Nidahas Trophy,India vs Bangladesh,IND vs BAN
Rohit Sharma’s Indian cricket team is top of the table at the Nidahas Trophy 2018 but he would be keen to get back into the runs as well as see the side’s top order click in the match against Bangladesh cricket team. (AFP)

Indian cricket team may be on top of the table in the Nidahas Trophy 2018 Twenty20 tri-series but it has not been smooth sailing. An inconsistent top order has been the main area of concern for Rohit Sharma’s side heading into the game against Bangladesh on Wednesday.

The Indian side cannot afford a slip-up against a buoyant Mahmudullah-led Bangladesh that chased down 215, the fourth-highest successful chase in Twenty20 Internationals in their previous game against Sri Lanka.

With their top order finally clicking and backed up by Mushfiqur Rahim’s wonderful knock, Bangladesh head into the match determined to break India’s six-match winning streak against them.

India’s misfiring top

Barring Shikhar Dhawan -- who made 90 and 55, the rest of the top order have thrown their wickets away in their quest for ultra-aggression. The classic examples were the dismissals of Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina in the previous game against Sri Lanka. Both began well but threw their wickets away. India were, however, saved by the depth in batting with Dinesh Karthik and Manish Pandey playing stellar knocks.

India’s strength in this tournament has been the bowling. Washington Sundar has been the team’s go-to bowler in the powerplays and he responded yet again against Sri Lanka, finishing with figures of 4-0-21-2.

Yuzvendra Chahal’s key strikes at vital intervals combined with Shardul Thakur’s smart bowling has given this unit plenty to cheer. If India sort out their top-order woes against Bangladesh, then they will be favourites to win the Nidahas Trophy.

Consistency key for Bangladesh

Following their win over Sri Lanka, Tamim Iqbal stressed on the need to play the Bangladesh style of cricket. Mushfiqur Rahim touched upon it at the SSC and Mahmudullah reiterated it.

In their previous encounter against India, Bangladesh consumed too many dot balls but rectified the mistake in the next match against Sri Lanka, thanks to aggressive knocks from Liton Das and Tamim Iqbal.

Mahmudullah said that the team needs to counter India’s powerful bowling if they have to win. “If you look at India’s bowling, both pacers and spinners have bowled well, especially Chahal and Sundar. They have varied their lengths and line well and at the same time, the pacers have also used variations,” the Bangladesh skipper said in the pre-match press conference.

Bangladesh’s practice session was affected by rain. Although they practised for an hour after rain relented, the weather in Colombo for the next few days doesn’t appear promising. The start to the Monday’s India-Sri Lanka game was delayed by close to two hours and a similar situation could arise on Wednesday. In the event of a wash-out, India will seal their spot in the final while the last league game between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh on March 16 will become a virtual semi-final.

First Published: Mar 13, 2018 20:49 IST