Bangladesh may most probably fail to make it to the Final of the Idea Cup but they are capable of causing an upset or two in this tournament. Upset may not be the right word infact. The hosts have every chance to win either against India or Sri Lanka if they get to chase a total or in other words should their Skipper Shakib Al Hasan get lucky with the toss. Until games keep on starting at the same time, there is little any fielding side can do because of the dew as the bowlers get neutralized totally because of the wet ball.
The Tigers have improved a lot and the best part is that their team is getting filled up with many young strokeful batsmen. Most of the Bangladeshi batsmen look dangerous and quite eager to take on the bowlers. In this scenario, the Indian bowlers have got to get them out before getting hit around. With the young Bangladeshi batsmen expected to play through the line without much footwork, swing will be the key factor for India. Ashish Nehra and Sreesanth will hold the key as they are great exponents in swinging the ball around to get the nick behinds and the lbws.
Ashish Nehra has been a superb swing bowler under the right conditions. The left armer was very unlucky not to get three wickets or so against Sri Lanka with the new ball. He will surely continue to pose a threat to the batsmen should he be able to swing the ball and the wickets will fall to him eventually. The Pitch at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur also has some uneven bounce. The odd ball just kicks off the turf if the pacers are willing to bend their back. For the spinners, the ball is every now and then gripping and holding onto the surface in the first half. Ofcourse there is nothing in the pitch during the latter half with the dew playing the villain.
Should India lose the toss and get to bowl under the lights then their only chance is to take wickets in a hurry in the first ten overs. With the dew expected to cause problems, the bowlers will be in the game only for that 10 overs of time period after which it is a cakewalk for any batsmen.
One team change that comes to my mind is to get in Sudeep Tyagi to replace Zaheer Khan so that the experienced left armer gets some rest ahead of the bigger challenges. It will be interesting to see how the Indian batsmen approach the spin-oriented attack of the Bangladeshis. The hosts have an erratic pace attack which can be torn apart by someone like Sehwag.
The Bangladeshi player to watch out for India is Naeem Islam, he could just sting the Indians with surprise just like a Thissara Perera. From the Bangladesh point of view, they need to promote Naeem Islam up the batting order. It should be a great contest if the Bangladeshi batting fires up to put up a strong challenge to India in the next few hours. Like always ‘Complacency’ will be the thing to guard against for MS Dhoni’s men against a weaker side like Bangladesh.