Bangladesh will take on mighty India tomorrow (Thursday) in their fourth game of the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup at Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune. The match starts at 2.30 PM (Bangladesh Time).
The Tigers began World Cup mission with a six-wicket win over Afghanistan but tasted crushing 137-run and eight-wicket defeat to England and New Zealand respectively in the last two matches.
India in contrast are flying high, winning their firs three matches quite convincingly. They began the mission with a six-wicket win over Australia before beating Afghanistan by eight wickets and archrivals Pakistan by seven wickets.
On paper and considering recent performance India are favourite to win the game but Bangladesh will be oozed with confidence due to their recent dominance against the sub-continent rivals.
In the last four matches between the two sides, Bangladesh won three, including an Asia Cup game in Sri Lanka just ahead of the World Cup. The two sides in fact met only four times after the 2019 World Cup.
Since their landmark victory in 2007 World Cup against India, Bangladesh became highly charged up when they meet India in any game in any part of the World. It's not that they won all of the matches but somehow they were able to panic India by pushing them vehemently in every matches.
In World Cup, the two teams met four times with India winning three. After 2007 World Cup, which gave the birth of Bangladesh's cricketing stars like Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Bangladesh could never beat India in this showcase event.
But many Bangladeshi still believer the Tigers could have won the 2015 World Cup game had umpire not given Rohit Sharma a reprieve in a delivery of fast bowler Rubel Hossain which was called 'no ball.'
The 'no ball' issue imprinted a permanent scratch in Bangladeshi fans heart and took the rivalry between the two sides in new but ugly height. In 2019 World Cup, Bangladesh also pushed India before losing the game by 28 runs.
However it is believed their recent dominance and rivalry against India would help Bangladesh to bring out their best against the World Cup hosts as they are trying to bounce back into the winning way.
The two teams played 40 matches so far with Bangladesh winning eight and losing 31. One match ended in a no result.
Bangladesh will be boosted by the return of captain Shakib Al Hasan in the net after he suffered a slight quad tear during the match against New Zealand. He batted 45 minutes in the net just two days ahead of the India game to hint that he will be fully fit on match day.
Shakib was the man of the match against India in their Asia Cup game and if he performs up to the mark, India won't find it easier to beat Bangladesh convincingly like the other opponents.
As a batting group, Bangladesh continued to falter but what was most disappointing was their fast bowlers performance. There were high hopes of the fast bowling group after their last two years performance but they so far lived up to the expectation. With Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Shoriful Islam and even the rookie Tanzid Hasan Sakib always finding India particularly to their likings, Bangladesh hoped they would serve their best in tomorrow's match.
Bangladesh: Shakib Al Hasan (c), Liton Das, Tanzid Hasan Tamim, Najmul Hossain Shanto (vc), Tawhid Hridoy, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nasum Ahmed, Mahedi Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Hasan Mahmud, Shoriful Islam, Tanzim Hasan Sakib.
India: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Hardik Pandya (Vice-captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav.