The Tigers are set to take on India in a ‘do or die’ match to keep their hope for the World Cup semifinal alive today at Edgbaston, Birmingham. Bangladesh has no other alternative to qualify for the semifinals but to beat India, and replicate the same result against Pakistan on July 5. Despite the tough task, the Tigers are keen to keep their dream semi-final hope alive. The match will start at 3:30pm (BST).
Bangladeshi fans expected that India would beat England on Sunday at Birmingham. But the hosts secured a stunning win over India that dimmed Bangladesh’s chance to qualify for the semifinals. Bangladesh now have to beat India on Tuesday to keep their hope alive. However, Bangladesh bowling coach Courtney Walsh said on Sunday that they are not thinking much about result of others. However, he admitted that they had an eye on the result of India- England match.
“The boys are keen to make us proud. They are trying hard to get the best results. We still have two matches to play. We have to play our best cricket to get the results in our favour,” Walsh told the media. After the game against Afghanistan, Bangladeshi players took five-day rest. They went back to business on Sunday when they practiced for the first time in Birmingham where the match will take place.
Mahmudullah Riyad, who has been suffering from several injuries, was in the practice session and batted on the net. His participation in the practice came as good news for the Tigers. The right-handed all-rounder is likely to play the all-important game against India. However, Mahmudullah is yet to be cleared to bowl as he has an injury on his shoulder that has been preventing him from bowling in the World Cup.
Bangladesh have played 35 ODIs against India and defeated them on five occasions. Three of those game were in the World Cups and Bangladesh won just one of them in 2007, which is still one the most celebrated win in the history of Bangladesh cricket. Before heading to another game against India, Bangladesh’s main challenge to restrict India’s batting line up from scoring ample runs if they get the chance to bat first.
However, Bangladesh are yet to display a brisk bowling show with the new ball. Mashrafe, the Bangladesh captain is one of the bowlers who take the new ball regularly, but he is passing bad time in the middle of the World Cup. Mashrafe bowled 44 overs in the World Cup so far and grab only a wicket conceding 279 runs. He got Mohammad Saifuddin and Mustafizur Rahman, who are known to be better when the ball is old, as his partner with the new ball. So Bangladesh have not been a side who achieved great success during the first 10 overs while bowling in the World Cup.
This deficit will be a big concern in the match against India. However, Bangladesh bowling coach said he is not bothered with the way Mashrafe has been bowling in the World Cup. “We are not concerned about the bowling of Mashrafe. He can control his economy which is our main focus now. But when he gets a wicket early, it helps us to do a big thing. We have two matches to play in the World Cup. I think Mashrafe will come up strongly,” Walsh told the media.
Bangladesh are likely to go with the same playing XI that beat Afghanistan comfortably. However, Mahmudullah is yet to be announced fit by the physio but he is likely to make a place in the best XI. If he misses it out at the last hour, Mohammad Mithun might get another chance. Bangladesh’s probable XI against India: Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Das, Mahmudullah Riyad/ Mohammad Mithun, Mosaddek Hossain, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and Mustafizur Rahman.