What’s the story?
Ahead of the crucial semi-final clash between India and Bangladesh at Birmingham, there is plenty of talk in the Bangladesh camp about the match and all this chatter is primarily aimed at denigrating the Indian team and putting the Kohli-led outfit under undue pressure.
According to India Today, the Bangladesh camp believes that Yuvraj Singh is India’s weakest link and that they can target the southpaw in the field owing to his slightly iffy fielding.
Also, the camp is upbeat about their bowling stocks and if initial reports are to be believed they will go in with four fast bowlers in Mashrafe Mortaza, Taskin Ahmed, Rubel Hossain, and Mustafizur Rehman and are hoping to blow away the Indian batting line-up with their ‘pace’ and ‘aggression’.
According to head coach of Bangladesh, Chandika Hathurusingha, Bangladesh have a more balanced and varied attack and the potency to sieve through the Indian batting order.
They have set their sights on getting one of the openers and Virat Kohli out as this would allow them a fair chance at the Indian middle order which they believe is still undercooked and could be exploited.
Also, the chatter is about the Indian fielding and Hathursinghe believes that his team is a better fielding unit than India, although the results and the concluded matches have something else to say.
Apart from this, there is this nervous energy in the Bangladeshi camp which has forced them to speak out a lot before the match and according to them, all the pressure will be on India in the match.
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In a huge upset of sorts, Bangladesh scripted an unlikely heist against New Zealand and made their way into the semi-finals. This will be their first ever semi-final in any ICC tournament and the tension in the camp is palpable.
The team it seems has not yet recovered from the quarter-final clash against India at Melbourne back during the 2015 World Cup when Rohit Sharma was reprieved courtesy a controversial no-ball call.
Amidst all the chatter and unnecessary flooding of words, it would be interesting to see which Bangladesh turns up for the match on June 15 at Birmingham. Their captain Mashrafe Mortaza has already gone on record saying that the team has already punched way above its weight by qualifying for the semi-finals.
Thus, the approach of the team would be an interesting watch, come Thursday.
Although Bangladesh have managed to put together an ODI outfit which cannot be taken lightly, the fact remains that the media and the players themselves have not yet managed to come out of the ‘victim’ phenomena wherein they believe that the entire cricketing world is against them and that they are always at the receiving end.
Coming back to the Indian team and the fielding effort, the very same team prized out 3 run outs against South Africa, which included the scalps of AB de Villiers and David Miller. No words can thus replicate or even replace these deeds. Hence, Bangladesh need to focus on their own strengths more than worrying too much about the ‘weakness’ of the opponents.