India eye instant comeback, Bangladesh seek winning start

Match details

R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
March 8, Thursday; 19:00 IST
Live on DSport channel

The main picture

India and Bangladesh will renew their feisty rivalry when they clash in the second match of Nidahas Trophy. For long a David v Goliath battle, this rivalry gained a new life when Bangladesh beat India in a group stage match of the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup. While India have continued to dominate the head to head in Test, ODI and T20Is, the Bangla Tigers have a real belief in themselves these days, that their neighbour can be beaten.

Mahmudullah and co. will, for certain, play with the belief that they can start their Nidahas Trophy campaign with a victory. In the absence of Shakib Al Hasan, they lost the two-match T20I series against Sri Lanka back home in mid-February. Even with Shakib, they also lost to South Africa in a couple of T20Is during their tour of the Rainbow Nation last year, leaving them on a losing run of four. They are missing their regular captain here as well, due to a finger injury, but the senior pros—the likes of Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Sabbir Rahman, captain Mahmudullah himself, and Mustafizur Rahman— need to step up if Bangladesh are to bring this losing run to a halt and go the distance in this tri-nation T20 series and realise their potential.

India were well below their best in the tournament opener against host Sri Lanka, losing by five wickets. However, one of the standout aspects of the current Indian team is their ability to bounce back from defeats almost instantly. Though Rohit Sharma and co. are being called second-string India, they have more than a handful of match-winners who give India the edge over Bangladesh in Thursday’s encounter.

India have won each of the five Twenty20 Internationals they have played against Bangladesh to date, with the last meeting between these sides coming in the ICC World Twenty20 2016, when Bangladesh lost a match agonisingly by one run, having had victory in their grasp. Thursday’s match will be the first between these sides on Sri Lankan soil.

Premadasa pitch report and weather conditions

As expected, the Premadasa Stadium pitch for Tuesday’s match was batsmen-friendly and you can expect its nature to remain the same for this encounter as well. With it providing good pace and bounce, expect another high-scoring match and the team winning the toss potentially opting to bowl first.

The weather forecast is for a thunderstorm in the afternoon or evening, with 24 degree Celsius being the temperature at night.

Recent form

BAN: LLLLW (last five completed T20Is, from left to right)

Nidahas Trophy 2nd match: India vs Bangladesh playing XI

Bangladesh should be able to put together a strong and an experienced line-up against India, with the onus on the batsmen to harness the batting-friendly conditions at the Khettarama.

Possible Bangladesh playing XI vs India: 1 Mahmudullah Riyad (c), 2 Soumya Sarkar, 3 Tamim Iqbal, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 5 Sabbir Rahman, 6 Litton Das, 7 Nurul Hasan, 8 Mehidy Hasan, 9 Taskin Ahmed, 10 Mustafizur Rahman, 11 Rubel Hossain

India are unlikely to alter their playing XI after Tuesday’s defeat. Shardul Thakur was expensive (0/42 in 3.3 overs) and Kusal Perera, in particular, took a liking to him, but this Mumbai fast-medium bowler is likely to retain his place.

Possible India playing 11 vs Bangladesh: 1 Rohit Sharma (c), 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Suresh Raina, 4 Manish Pandey, 5 Rishabh Pant, 6 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 7 Vijay Shankar, 8 Washington Sundar, 9 Shardul Thakur, 10 Jaydev Unadkat, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal

Match prediction

India, as aforementioned, have an edge over Bangladesh despite the format and the Men in Blue starting off with a defeat. A majority in the current Bangladesh T20 squad were part of that match in the ICC World T20 2016 and you can expect them to bring their experience, not just from the previous meeting, into play on Thursday. With the pitch being good for batting and a thunderstorm forecast, toss may hold the key.

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