Rohit Sharma-led India aim to bounce back in Nidahas Trophy, Bangladesh look to break jinx

Rohit Sharma’s inexperienced India side suffered a five-wicket defeat in their opening game of the Nidahas Trophy 2018 tri-series against Sri Lanka and will be aiming to bounce back against a Bangladesh side low on confidence.

cricket Updated: Mar 07, 2018 21:07 IST
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Hindustan Times, Colombo
Rohit Sharma,India vs Bangladesh,Nidahas Trophy 2018
Rohit Sharma, who got out cheaply against Sri Lanka, will look to play a big knock against Bangladesh in the second game of the Nidahas Trophy 2018 tri-series in Colombo. (PTI )

Before the start of the Nidahas Trophy 2018 tri-series, all the talk was on Rohit Sharma-led India being favourites despite resting some of their key players. After the five-wicket loss to Sri Lanka in the opening game, there are murmurs that this could be an open tournament.

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The hosts exposed the frailties of the inexperienced Indian side, both in batting and bowling. Shikhar Dhawan was batting on a different surface while the rest of the batting stumbled. In the bowling, Yuzvendra Chahal once again picked up wickets but the rest of the bowlers suffered thanks to Kusal Perera’s 66 off 37 balls. Ahead of the second game against Bangladesh at the R Premadasa stadium on Thursday, skipper Rohit Sharma will be hoping to avoid a slip-up.

(Read | Shikhar Dhawan says Sri Lanka’s powerplay performance took game away from India)

Batting, bowling too dependant

Although the team did not sound too worried after the loss against Sri Lanka, Rohit has some issues. The captain is currently undergoing a lean patch. Ever since his 118 against Sri Lanka in Indore, he has managed scores of 27,21,0,11,0. The middle order and lower-middle order struggled to maintain momentum and land the finishing blow. Manish Pandey scored 37 but consumed 35 balls. Rishabh Pant hit 23 but took the same number of balls.

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What will worry Rohit was the ineffectiveness of the pacers. Shardul Thakur and Jaydev Unadkat were low on confidence following Perera’s blitz in the powerplay while Vijay Shankar proved ineffective. The spinners rose to the occasion with Chahal and Washington Sundar taking two wickets apiece and they will be the key. With the R Premadasa deck slow and sluggish, Rohit might include Axar Patel and give Deepak Hooda a chance in place of Rishabh Pant just to get the right finish.

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Bangladesh’s struggles

If India is to bounce back, they have a great opportunity against Bangladesh, who has won only one out of their last 10 games. Bangladesh have lost all five games against India, with the last match being the one-run heartbreak in the 2016 World T20 clash in Bangalore.

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With the No.3 position still up for grabs and the absence of regular skipper Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh will have to raise their game dramatically and the skipper is hopeful their new head coach Courtney Walsh can help them get their self belief back.

“Courtney brings in a lot of experience from his playing days, we know he has the capabilities to help us, he has been the captain of his side in the past. We have to now extract the best knowledge and execute it well. We lost our confidence somewhere. If we can revive that self belief, we will do well,” stand-in captain Mahmudullah said.

With Sri Lanka snapping their seven-game losing streak against India on Tuesday, Bangladesh will be aiming to break their hoodoo with a maiden win over Rohit’s side.

First Published: Mar 07, 2018 20:15 IST