Bangladesh face India at Edgbaston on Tuesday needing a win to keep their hopes of reaching the World Cup semi-finals alive.
England’s victory over India means Bangladesh must win their last two group games – against India and Pakistan – and hope New Zealand beat England to reach the last four.
Meanwhile, India can make sure of their place in the knockout stages with a win. The match will be played on the same track as India’s defeat to England and Virat Kohli’s side will hope to use that experience and knowledge of the wicket – and boundary sizes – to their advantage.
While Kohli expressed his concerns about the boundary sizes, Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza had no such worries ahead of a crucial game for his side.
“It will be the same wicket and same ground for both teams,” Mashrafe told reporters on Monday.
“We haven’t played any match on it. Yes, one side is pretty smaller, so batsmen will normally target that area, but I think both teams will get the same benefit here.”
Mashrafe also insisted his team are only focusing on their own performances as they bid to reach the semi-finals and are looking forward to the challenge of trying to get the better of India and Pakistan.
Bangladesh vs India
July 2, 2019, 10:00am
“We’ve come this far by virtue of our seven points – from three wins and a washed out match. We won because we played well in those matches,” he said. “To win tomorrow, we will have to play well again. In a tournament like this, it’s pointless to rely on how other teams fare.
“Of course a loss tomorrow would mean end of our campaign, and things could have been different had India beaten England. I’m seeing it as a good challenge. If we can beat India tomorrow. You need tougher challenges to improve as a team.”
India have been forced to make another change to their squad with Vijay Shankar ruled out of the rest of the tournament due to a toe injury sustained during a net session with Mayank Agarwal, uncapped in ODIs, called up in his stead.
However, Rishabh Pant is expected to keep his place in the XI, having made his first appearance since coming into the squad for Shikhar Dhawan, against England.
Mahmudullah was a doubt for Bangladesh after sustaining a calf injury in the win over Afghanistan but having had an eight-day break to recover, he is expected to be fit to play.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Frenetic is the best way to describe Pant‘s first World Cup innings as he made 32 from 29 balls at Edgbaston on Sunday. However, the 21-year-old left-hander has already shown in his short career to date just what a talent he is and having got a game under his belt, his remarkable power and explosive batting make him one of the India batsmen best suited to take full advantage of that short boundary.
For Bangladesh, it is a must-win game and with the pressure on they will be looking to their star men to come to the fore – and no star has shone brighter at this World Cup than Shakib Al Hasan. The all-rounder has been magnificent with the bat, scoring two hundreds and three fifties in six innings – making 41 in the other – and career best figures of 5-29 in the last match show he is finding form with the ball now as well.
WHAT ARE THEY SAYING?
India captain Virat Kohli on the Edgbaston boundary dimensions: “It’s a coincidence that it just falls under the limitation of the shortest you can have in the tournament. Quite bizarre on a flat pitch. It’s the first time we’ve experienced that. It is crazy things fall in place randomly.
“If batsmen are able to reverse sweep you for six on a 59-metre boundary there is not much you can do as a spinner. One side was 82 metres.”
India batting coach Sanjay Bangar on MS Dhoni’s innings vs England: “I think MS (Dhoni) was striking the ball very well, he had good intent and it’s just that the English bowlers stuck to the task really well, used the angles and used the large boundaries to their advantage.
“When they were bowling to the shorter side of the boundary, they were bowling pretty good line. I didn’t find anything wrong in MS’s innings. He was batting beautifully, he struck a few big blows. It’s just that last four or five overs difference between runs required and balls left kept on creeping up.”
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza on facing India’s spinners: “I think their spinners have done a good job if you look at their stats in the last two-three years. We can’t expect to do what England did and get success.
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