Experiments unlikely as India face Bangla

Colombo:  India would like to throw the mathematical possibilities out of the window and seal their place in the final of the Nidahas Trophy T20I tri-series when they face a Bangladesh here Wednesday. And they would certainly depend on the prowess of pacer Shardul Thakur who picked up four wickets Monday in the game against Sri Lanka. 

Having suffered an unexpected reverse against Sri Lanka in their tournament-opener, it is highly unlikely that India will experiment against a resurgent Bangladesh in their final league stage match.

Bangladesh’s confidence has been boosted by their record 215-run chase against Sri Lanka and a win against India will bolster their chances of making it to the finals.

A defeat may not be end of the road for India as it will then depend on the outcome of final league game between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Net run-rate will also be a factor. With back-to-back victories in the last two games, India have a healthy net run-rate of +0.21.

For India the biggest worry is skipper Rohit Sharma’s form. It will be interesting to see if Rohit promotes KL Rahul to open the innings and himself comes down at No.4 – something that he has done for Mumbai Indians in the IPL over the years.

More than the batsmen, the bigger challenge will be faced by the bowlers against an unpredictable batting line-up like Bangladesh. In their last encounter, India did well to restrict them to 139.

In the bowling department, Jaydev Unadkat has been expensive in all the three matches. However, Thakur, all-rounder Vijay Shankar and off-spinner Washington Sundar has done exceedingly well.

Meanwhile Thakur said that he relished the challenge of being a back-up pacer. “I have told one thing before: I love challenges. I am taking it as a challenge,” he told reporters after India’s game Monday.

“If other senior bowlers are missing from the team, then I have to step up. I have done this previously for other teams including Mumbai. And I have done that successfully,” he added exuding confidence.

The ‘knuckle ball’ is being used as a variation by a lot of Indian bowlers currently including pace spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar. However it was Zaheer, who had first started but Thakur insisted that he had learnt it all by his own.

“(Zaheer) did it actually, but I didn’t watch much of his videos,” Thakur informed. “I always knew what the grip was, and then I learned it on my own.”



press trust of india


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