Spinners from India and Bangladesh who can save the match for their team on Thursday
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After finishing the group stages unbeaten with 12 points in 6 matches, India head into their quarterfinal clash against Bangladesh at the Melbourne Cricket Ground(MCG) brimming with confidence.
But Bangladesh on their part also come into the knockout encounter on a high, after beating England and giving New Zealand a tough fight on Friday.
The MCG has always been a batsman-friendly pitch, but the spinners from either team will also have a key role to play, and they should enjoy bowling at the venue due to the big boundaries on all sides.
Here are six spinners who could have a huge impact in tomorrow’s match.
The off-spinner didn’t have the best of times in the previous game against Zimbabwe, where he was hit for 75 runs in 10 overs. But barring that game he has been sensational with the ball, which is reflected in his haul of 12 wickets that he has picked up in six matches at an average of 21.50.
Ashwin will certainly enjoy bowling at the MCG and MS Dhoni would once again bank on him to put in a good spell on Thursday.
The Bangladeshi all-rounder will have to play a vital role with bat and ball if his side are to pull off an upset on Thursday. The 27-year-old has taken seven wickets in the five matches that he has played so far, and has contributed significantly to his team’s cause. If Bangladesh are to keep the run-scoring down in the middle overs, then Shakib will have bowl 10 tidy overs and maybe even pick up a few wickets to put the Indians under pressure.
While India’s bowlers have been extremely impressive in the tournament so far, one man is yet to deliver a good performance and that man is Ravindra Jadeja. The left-arm spinner might have picked up seven wickets in six matches, but compared to his partner Ashwin he has a higher economy rate (5.32 to Ashwin’s 4.52) and has been significantly less impactful.
Jadeja was one of the key performers for the Men in Blue during the Champions Trophy win in 2013, and he will look to take inspiration from those exploits and deliver in the knockout stages.
The 29-year-old has been more in the news this World Cup for his pyrotechnics with the bat, having scored two hundreds in two consecutive matches against England and New Zealand. But he is also an effective off-spinner, and while he might not have played as big a role with the ball so far, his 68 wickets in 115 ODIs at an economy of 5.1 certainly make him a threat. India certainly can’t afford to take him lightly on Thursday.
Because Jadeja hasn’t been in the best of form, Suresh Raina’s role with the ball has become a lot more important than expected. The 28-year-old was extremely effective in the game against Ireland where he bowled a tight spell, giving 40 runs in 10 overs and picking up 1 wicket. While Dhoni would hope for Jadeja to strike form on Thursday, having someone like Raina bowl in the middle overs is not a bad option for the skipper.
Sabbir Rahman provides Bangladesh with a leg-spinning option along with the left-arm spin of Shakib and the off-spin of Mahmudullah. The 23-year-old hasn’t made as big impact as he would’ve liked to in the tournament so far, and it would be interesting to see what kind of an effect the quarterfinal stage has on him this Thursday.