• Sunday, July 21, 2024


Preview: Keen to avoid further slide, Bangladesh to meet rampaging India in crucial Pune game

Bangladesh have won in three of their last four meetings with India but the hosts’ form in the World Cup will keep the Tigers concerned.

(L-R) India captain Rohit Sharma and Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan (ANI Photos)

By: India Weekly Staff

BANGLADESH coach Chandika Hathurusingha accepts his side will face a “scary” India when they take on the in-form World Cup hosts in Pune on Thursday (19).

India head into the game looking to extend their perfect record this tournament to four wins out of four.

Bangladesh, by contrast, have lost their last two matches after starting the World Cup with a six-wicket win over Afghanistan.

India captain Rohit Sharma has already scored over 200 runs in three matches, with paceman Jasprit Bumrah taking eight wickets at a miserly average of just over 10.

“They (India) have every area covered,” Hathurusingha told a pre-match press conference on Wednesday.

“They have strike bowlers up front and Bumrah has almost come (back) to his best.

“They have good, experienced spinners for the middle overs, their top-order is firing. They are scary.”

Bangladesh may have had a faltering start to the World Cup, but they defeated India 2-1 on home soil in a one-day international series last year and enjoyed a six-run success against them during last month’s Asia Cup in Colombo.

“We had success in the recent past against India but it is a different ball-game in the World Cup,” insisted Hathurusingha.

“We are hoping to have a complete performance.”

– ‘Inspired’ –

The former Sri Lanka batsman took heart from the way Afghanistan had already overpowered defending champions England at this World Cup, with non-Test nation the Netherlands defeating South Africa as well.

“We are all motivated to win every game from now on,” he said.

“Because of what happened in the last week, the World Cup is really opening up. We are all inspired by that. We have six games to go, we still think we can win those games.”

But Bangladesh’s task could become significantly more difficult if skipper Shakib Al Hasan is ruled out, with the star all-rounder set to have a fitness test just hours before Thursday’s match.

Shakib, 36 is battling to overcome a thigh injury suffered during Friday’s eight-wicket loss to New Zealand in Chennai.

Now in his fifth World Cup, he scored 40 then completed a return of 1-54 with his left-arm spin before hobbling off the field.

“He (Shakib) had a good batting session yesterday,” said Hathurusingha. “He did a bit of running between the wickets as well.

“We are waiting for the result of the scan we did today.

“We haven’t tried his bowling yet. We will assess him tomorrow morning, and make a decision.

“If he is not ready to play, we won’t risk it. If he is ready, there’s a chance of him playing.”

But he later suggested Shakib would have some input into the decision as well following a “green or red light” from medical staff.

“If they think it is not risky, the player is given the choice of playing the game or not,” Hathurusingha said.

“It comes to the captain and coach whether they want the player or not and if he is wanted in one or both disciplines.”


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