Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)-Not often have Bangladesh called the shots in a bilateral series against India.
However, the hosts’ convincing victory in the opening one-dayer of the three-match series has put Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men under immense pressure, reports abplive.in.
With threat of a shocking series defeat looming large, India will be aiming to come out all guns blazing in the second ODI in Mirpur on Sunday.
To complicate matters there was some unwanted controversy that resulted in captain Dhoni being docked 75 per cent of his match fees.
Dhoni and Bangladesh fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman were fined 50 and 75 per cent of their match fees, respectively, after being found guilty of breaching the ICC Code of Conduct during the first ODI on Thursday.
“Two players were found to have breached Article 2.2.4 of the ICC Code of Conduct for players and player support personnel, which relates to “inappropriate and deliberate physical contact between players in the course of play during an International match”.
More than parting with 75 per cent of his match fees, Dhoni would just like to look back as to what exactly is going wrong with his batting.
An innings of 85 in a win against a below-par Zimbabwe attack in the World Cup and a 65 while delaying the inevitable against Australia in the semifinals have been his better contributions of late.
Statistics showed that Dhoni’s strike-rate against left-arm spinners have dropped down to around 66 in the four years post 2011 World Cup victory.
More importantly, when a left-arm spinner is in operation, it takes him 32 balls to hit a boundary. No wonder he struggled against Shakib-al Hasan.
The road to redemption for Indian cricketers might just be a bit more tougher than what is expected as multiple factors stand in their way of clawing back to keep the series alive by restoring parity.
The first and foremost is Bangladesh’s performance of late. There’s no doubt that Bangladesh are a transformed unit having shown more consistency of late.
If anyone thought that making it to the last eight of the ICC Cricket World Cup was a fluke, they were proved completely wrong by Mashrafe Mortaza and his bunch of talented youngsters as they whipped Pakistan 3-0 at home.
The Tigers once again roared as they crushed a full-strength India side fair and square in what was a lop-sided contest for the better part of the match.
Not only his own struggle with the bat, Dhoni as a captain needs to ensure that the entire team perform like a team possessed to weed out any chances of an upset.
There is a possibility that weather could play spoilsport again and Team India would be praying for a full match in order to get proceedings on level terms.
Rohit Sharma is a man of big hundreds it comes to ODIs and he would not like to throw it away like he did in the first match when he looked set for another three figure mark.
Test captain Virat Kohli’s ODI figures are phenomenal but the lean patch in limited overs is his first in the last five years and it might just require one innings to get it back on track.
Ajinkya Rahane on his day can be as dangerous and would be keen to set things right after his failure in the first match.
However for Dhoni, the most important aspect would be to ensure that his bowlers perform their job better than what they did last time.
Especially the pacers, who were taken to the cleaners by the Bangladeshi top-order.
Umesh Yadav’s inconsistency is baffling since he has been a regular feature for more than a season now.
His inconsistency in hitting the right channel cost India dearly in the first match.
Mohit Sharma has been Dhoni’s trusted third pacer for sometime now but he didn’t look good during the first match being blasted for more than 50 runs in less than five overs. It remains to be seen if Stuart Binny is tried out in his place.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s sharp drop in pace from 130 kmph to mid-120kmph is also a factor that has added to Dhoni’s woes. Which leaves the Indian team with their main strike bowler in Ravichandran Ashwin.
It was because of Ashwin, and partially Suresh Raina, that India were able to restrict Bangladesh to 307 instead of a score close to 350 which looked quite possible at one stage.
As an ODI side, Bangladesh have improved a lot in recent times with a nice blend of experience and youth.
While the quartet of Shakib, Mushfiqur Rahim, Tamim Iqbal and captain Mortaza form the core, they have unveiled some serious talents in opener Soumya Sarkar and left-arm pacer Mustafizur.
Mustafizur has impressed everyone with his variations and change of pace which troubled every Indian batsmen.
Bangladesh’s traditional comfort in ODIs as compared to Tests and T20s, has reflected in their numbers this year.
Before the first ODI, Mortaza had asked his side to play like a top-four team, and going by the number of wins in 2015, Bangladesh are fourth behind World Cup finalists New Zealand, world champions Australia, and South Africa.