BANGLADESH TOUR OF INDIA 2019
Crisis-ridden Bangladesh desperately seek a breath of fresh air © AFP
Halloween may well be over but Delhi has refused to take the mask off. The pollution levels have continued to stay hazardous, partly because of Diwali and partly because of crop-stubble burning, with a health-related emergency declared in the state. The schools are shut till November 5 and outdoor sporting activities are being advised against.
And yet, here we are getting ready for the first T 20 I between India and Bangladesh. Sourav Ganguly stressed it was too late to move the game, and in defense of the current office-bearers, they could have done very little having taken charge only last week. And now the players, and fans, are at risk despite the several measures being put in place.
Make no mistake, the pollution hits you right from the time you land. By the time you make your way to the terminal building at the airport, you are already struggling with coarse throat which is followed by burning eyes. Bangladesh players did their best to brave the conditions, opting for masks in both training sessions before the match, and their coach did well to not sound like a cranky visitor. India, on the other hand, had one full practice session but opted for an optional one on the eve of the game with pacers, apart from Khaleel Ahmed, giving it a miss. For what it’s worth, the conditions become a lot more bearable in the evening as the pollution levels come down a tad bit.
India have never hosted Bangladesh for a full series and the first time they do so, the welcome has been far from pleasing. From the cricketing point of view, India have players to identify and issues to sort. Rohit Sharma spoke at great length about how the team is trying to work on setting a target. The India captain, though, stressed the focus will be on giving the players the freedom and a certain level of comfort for the team to bag wins. India continue to grapple with the same questions but the unavailability of Virat Kohli opens up a spot for the team to try out more players.
For Bangladesh, as confirmed by Mahmudullah, the focus is on the batting department. The bowling unit is fairly settled and the team will look to quickly identify big-hitters which they have been lacking for a while. None of their batsmen have a strike rate of more than 135 since the last ICC T 20 World Cup apart from Liton Das. Needless to say, against a dominant Indian side, they’ll need all the batting firepower they can to challenge the hosts.
What:India vs Bangladesh, 1st T 20 I, 7pm IST
Where:Arun Jaitley Stadium, New Delhi
What to expect:There was a tinge of grass on the eve of the game and that should mean the wicket will play a lot better. With all the pollution and smog, dew won’t be a massive factor but the teams will prefer to chase.
India :Rohit Sharma confirmed one of Shivam Dube or Sanju Samson will play the contest. While Samson had a long session, Dube wasn’t present at the optional net session. The first challenge for the think-tank will be to sort the issue of No. 3 – whether they want to play KL Rahul or keep him as the backup opener. Shreyas Iyer has earned his spot and Rishabh Pant will be the designated ‘keeper.
Probable XI:Rohit Sharma (c), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer , Rishabh Pant (wk), Shivam Dube / Sanju Samson, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur / Khaleel Ahmed, Yuzvendra Chahal / Rahul Chahar.
Bangladesh:With Tamim Iqbal out of the tour, Soumya Sarkar and Liton Das are set to open. Al-Amin Hossain should be back in the side to partner Mustafizur while Arafat Sunny is also likely to make a comeback.
Probable XI:Soumya Sarkar, Liton Das, Mohammad Mithun, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk) , Mahmudullah (c), Mosaddek Hossain, Afif Hossain, Arafat Sunny, Mustafizur Rahman, Al-Amin Hossain, Abu Hider / Taijul Islam.
Did you know?
Rohit Sharma will become the most capped male Indian player in T 20 Is. He’ll go past MS Dhoni and will play his 99 th T 20 I.
India have won all their eight T 20 Is against Bangladesh and it’s the second most one-sided rivalry after Pakistan-Zimbabwe.
Post ICC T (World Cup in) , India has a win percentage of 63. 83 and Bangladesh have won just 33. 33 per cent of their games.
What they said:
“We’ve stuck with Pant and this is the format that gave him a lot of attention . We have to stick with him for a while and see how he performs. There’s a lot time left before we pass any judgment. Sanju has been performing well in the last two years and Shivam has come only last year, which is why people were so keen to buy him. They both have a lot of talent and they both have a lot of abilities “-Rohit Sharma.
“When we first came here , there was a lot of smog. The players have adapted well. It’s not in our control and everyone is fit “-Mahmudullah.