India vs Bangladesh: India seek quick turnaround after Delhi botch
The dodgy pudding at Feroz Shah Kotla choked the hapless batsmen as if the noxious smog wasn't enough. Considering the sluggish nature of the track, India had won half the battle by posting a challenging total of 149 on the board. Crisis-ridden Bangladesh were already missing the services of two veteran campaigners and the batting line-up oozed inexperience.
The early departure of Liton Das had slam opened the floodgates. Mohammed Naim's flamboyant cameo was presently terminated by Yuzvendra Chahal, injecting fresh life into the contest. Moreover, Soumya Sarkar's reluctance to up the ante in the middle overs briskly tilted the equilibrium in favor of the hosts. Pressure mounted significantly with the required rate climbing to a nervy 8 at the end of the ninth over.
Harakiri is the ideal word to describe the progression of events henceforth. The review fiasco, ordinary catching, and mediocre death bowling saw India lose grip. Bangladesh eventually triumphed in emphatic fashion, registering a maiden T20I victory over their neighbours in the process.
Nevertheless, why cry over spilled milk? Rohit Sharma & co. would be optimistic of a blazing resurgence as the cricketing bandwagon moves to Rajkot. However, undergoing a transition phase, the Men in Blue have numerous questions to address.
Shikhar Dhawan has miserably failed to generate a head of steam in the powerplay. Shielded predominantly by Rohit's firepower, his unimpressive strike-rate has drawn justified criticism. The opener's tendency to frequently charge down the wicket was neutralized effectively by Bangladesh quicks, who methodically pitched the ball in the good-length region forbidding easy strokeplay. Headstarts are the bedrock of massive targets and India desperately need the southpaw to fire on all cylinders.
Despite early jolts, Shreyas Iyer didn't hold back and launched a couple of audacious maximums right away, providing an insight into the team's newfangled mindset of not slipping into a defensive approach when the back's against the wall.
There's little doubt over the fact that Rishabh Pant is a talented youngster and not a finished product by any stretch of the imagination, but repeated failures have intensified the debate questioning his capability and temperament.
On Sunday, the explosive dasher couldn't have asked for a better platform to showcase his belligerence, but he miscued a tame hoick, dismissed yet again largely unaccomplished. Taking into account the relentless exertion from in-form Sanju Samson waiting in the wings, it would be interesting to observe the playing eleven come match day.
Looking from the bowling perspective, lack of death-over specialists is unarguably the most nagging concern. Khaleel Ahmed became too predictable with his lengths and hence, was exposed whole nine yards in the capital.
Tactfully anticipating a gripping slower-ball, Mushfiqur Rahim released the pressure with a boundary towards fine-leg in the penultimate over off Khaleel. He certainly knew the next delivery was going to be full and hitting the stumps, and shaped for a scoop executed to perfection. The nascent speedster needs to learn the art of outsmarting the contemporary batsmen with subtle variations and deceptive changes of pace.
Noteworthy to mention, the BCCI have just now received flak for scheduling the first T20I in Delhi amidst toxic weather conditions, and to exacerbate its woes, Cyclone 'Maha' is presumed to hit the Gujarat coast bringing torrential downpour and menacing landfall.
With the series on the line, India will have to pull up their socks and dominatingly conquer the Tiger's prowl.