The Mashrafe Mortaza-led Bangladesh team defeated Afghanistan by 62 runs in Southampton on Monday to pick their third win in the ongoing World Cup and will now need a killer punch in their remaining two league matches to make the semi-finals. The Tigers have a week-long break before they play their next match which is against India and their advantage lies in the fact that they will have a fair idea about how the final team standings could shape up.
Before they play their final two games. After playing India at Edgbaston on July 1, Mashrafe Mortaza’s side will play Pakistan at Lord’s on July 5. India-Bangladesh games have become no less intense than say the India-Pakistan rivalry, thanks to the passionate Tigers and their fans.
While Bangladesh had stunned India in the 2007 World Cup, India knocked them out of the World Cup in Australia in 2015. Last year, India had the last laugh in two narrowly contested finals – both in T20Is and ODIs – in Sri Lanka and UAE, respectively. Bangladesh certainly can’t be taken lightly by the Indians in their big meeting next month.
Former India left-arm spinner-all-rounder Sunil Joshi, who is currently the Tigers’ spin coach, feels an exciting contest is on the cards. Joshi, who played 69 ODIs for India between 1996 and 2001 and picked as many wickets, said it is known that India plays spin well but reminded that Bangladesh too are not lagging back on that count.
It may be mentioned here that while India struggled against Afghanistan spinners in Southampton last Saturday and won by just 11 runs after scoring 224, Bangladesh thumped the same opponents on the same ground by 62 runs on Monday.
We came close to beating India three times in the past
“We have shown in the white ball formats here and before this that we are a good side. We won in Ireland, we have beaten West Indies home and away and come close to beating India three times in the past three years.” India Today cited reports quoting Joshi, 49, as saying.
“I have seen India very closely when we have played them. We know where to bowl to them,” he added.
Incidentally, Joshi was the Man of the Match in the first-ever Test that Bangladesh had played against India in Dhaka in November 2000, for his all-round performance. India will get just one-day gap before their game against Bangladesh as they will be playing England on June 30. The Tigers will be a fresher lot on that count.