World Cup 2019: India looks to get back to winning ways

Chennai: After losing their first game of the tournament at the hands of hosts England, India will look to get back to winning ways and also seal a semi-final spot as they face Bangladesh, at Birmingham, Tuesday.

It is also a must-win game for the men-in-green as they look to keep their last-four hopes alive. England’s win in the last match has made life difficult for both Bangladesh and Pakistan to get into the semis easily.

Shakib Al Hasan has been the most valuable player for Bangladesh so far in the tournament, both with the bat and ball as he has smashed five fifty plus scores in six innings and also took a five-wicket haul against Afghanistan in their previous game. Once again Bangladesh’s hopes will rest on Shakib as the outfit expects another stellar performance to keep their semis chances alive.

However, Bangladesh’s batting has clicked pretty well in the tournament. Shakib was ably supported by Mushfiqur Rahim, who has scored a century and a fifty in the last two games. Liton Das, Mahmudullah and Tamim Iqbal have also given pretty decent performances.

Major concern for Bangladesh however has been their bowling as they have conceded scores excess for 300 four times in the tournament so far. Both their fast bowlers Mustafizur Rahman and Mohammad Saifuddin has scalped ten wickets each in the tournament, but it has come at a cost of them conceding many runs. Both their economies in the tournament has exceeded six runs.

On the other hand, a defeat will not stop India’s rampaging run in the tournament. After the loss to England, Kohli mentioned that they weren’t clinical with the bat as they failed to accelerate, chasing a mammoth 337. Kohli and his men will look to correct that in the next two games against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to get ready for tougher challenges ahead in the knockouts.

There are however selection concerns for the men-in blue as it remains to be seen whether Rishabh Pant, who was included in the team after a toe niggle to Vijay Shankar, keeps his place.

India’s middle order too has been receiving a lot of flak with none of the batsmen producing a convincing knock so far. Despite scoring a fifty and a forty in the last two innings, Dhoni is struggling to rotate strike, especially against spinners and Bangladesh might look to exploit this.

On a flat track in Birmingham, India’s spin twins, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav had an off-day as they conceded 160 runs in the 20 overs they had bowled, picking up a sloitary wicket. Playing in the same ground yet again, with nothing to offer for spin, India might even look to play an extra fast bowler as Bhuvneshwar Kumar has returned to full fitness.

Aaditya Anand M