Bangladesh v India Photo: twitter account
Melbourne, Australia (BBN)-South Asian cricket fans are looking at Melbourne as two nations of the region – Bangladesh and India – will face off in the second quarterfinal match of the ICC Cricket World Cup there on Thursday.  
The cricket fans will be glued to TV screen as the second quarterfinal knockout match between Bangladesh and India is scheduled to begin at 9:30am (BST) at Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia.
Expectation also rises as Bangladesh exhibited their feat in the previous matches of the tournament by defeating World Cup debut Afghanistan on February 18, Scotland on March 5 and knocking down England from the tournament on March 9.
Bangladesh, who lost 12 of its last 18 One-Day International matches, put up a spirited show in the group stages of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 to make it to the knockouts for the first time. adds: Bangladesh made it to the quarter-final after finishing fourth in Pool A, with three wins from five completed matches.
It included a stunning 15-run victory in Adelaide that put an end to England’s World Cup hopes.
This is the first time Bangladesh have qualified for the knockout stage in a World Cup.
Bangladesh’s previous best performance came in the 2007 edition when it made it to the Super Eights stage.
Undoubtedly, Thursday will be among Bangladesh cricket’s biggest days, not because they will be playing their 300th ODI but more since they have put themselves in line for a semifinal spot for the first time.
With fearlessness as their accomplice, they will be primed to give it their best shot just as they attempted in their last game against New Zealand.
They were fortunate to share points with Australia after rain in Brisbane washed their Group A game off but they showed they had kept in touch with the modern game during their 15-run victory over England in Adelaide.
The fast-medium bowling trio of skipper Mashrafe Mortaza, Rubel Hossain and Taskin Ahmed have 19 wickets but can be a handful.
Bangladesh coach, Chandika Hathurusingha has often pointed out that the team was not afraid to fail.
“If we are paralysed by failure, we are not pushing ourselves, that’s what we have talked about throughout this World Cup. I think the freedom to do things and believing in ourselves has been the key. We are backing ourselves to do well,” he said.
India came into the tournament as the defending champion but was completely out of form leading to the World Cup, failing to win a single match in its three-month tour of Australia.
With its tournament opener against arch rivals Pakistan, the pressure was on India, but the side under MS Dhoni raised its game dramatically in the group stages, finishing on top of Pool B with six wins in as many matches.
There were doubt over its bowling attack, but India stunned everyone by bowling out the opponents in all its matches.
India will face Bangladesh in the quarter-final in Melbourne on Thursday.
India are playing with immense confidence rather than arrogance was shown when they slipped past tricky situations against West Indies and Zimbabwe, thanks to Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s calming influence.
They will be hoping that the top-order batsmen will not make the mistake of treating Bangladesh’s bowlers with a complacent demeanour.
There have been attempts to evoke memories of 2007 World Cup when India were surprised by a pack of left-arm spinners and lost to Bangladesh in Port of Spain.
But the focus on that would dilute as soon as freeze frames of India’s whipping of Bangladesh on their home ground surface.
Cricketers and coaches, irrespective of nationality or teams they are attached to, also keep reminding us that the past does not matter as much as what a team does on a given day.
Bangladesh will be bidding fair to make Thursday count as their own while India, carrying committed heavyweight performers in their ranks, will seek to extend their winning run. adds: One of the form players of the tournament, Bangladesh batsman Mahmudullah comes into this match on the back of centuries against England and New Zealand.
The right-hander has posted scores of 23, 28, 62, 103 and 128 not out and showed late in his innings against New Zealand that he has the big-hitting to match the composure and solid technique he’s displayed throughout the tournament.
The strength of India’s Cup campaign so far – their fast-bowling – has been led admirably by Mohammad Shami.
The right-armer has taken 15 wickets from five matches, having missed the win over the UAE due to a knee injury, and has been particularly effective in the late overs.
Ten of his 15 wickets have come in overs 35 or later, which has helped India restrict the big hitting of their opponents.
The number of wickets taken by Bangladesh in this tournament, 25 less than India, who have bowled out their opponents in every match they’ve played.
While all four of India’s strike bowlers have taken 10 wickets or more in the tournament, Bangladesh’s leading wicket-takers are Shakib ul Hasan and Rubel Hossain with seven each from five matches.
Both teams played one of their pool matches at the MCG; India thrashed South Africa in front of 86,000 fans while Bangladesh were thoroughly beaten by Sri Lanka.
The venue for the final on March 29 has proven to be one for batting first so far in the tournament, with Australia (342), India (307) and Sri Lanka (332) all exceeding 300 in the first innings of the match.
After a mostly sunny morning in Melbourne on Thursday, there’s a high chance of showers in the afternoon and evening as well as a chance of a thunderstorm.
Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (captain), Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Soumya Sarkar, Mahmuddullah, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (wicketkeeper), Sabbir Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Anamul Haque, Taskin Ahmed, Arafat Sunny, Taijul Islam and Mominul Haque.
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain, wicketkeeper), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Mohit Sharma Umesh Yadav, Ambati Rayudu, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Axar Patel and Stuart Binny.
UMPIRES: Ian Gould (England) and Aleem Dar (Pakistan)
TV UMPIRE: Steve Davis (Australia)
MATCH REFEREE: Roshan Mahanama (Sri Lanka)
BBN/AI-18Mar15-11:30pm (BST)