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Preview: Asia Cup – Bangladesh vs India

India look to regain winning habit; Bangladesh aim consistency


Match 2 of the 2014 Asia Cup, between Bangladesh and India


Wednesday, February 26, 2014 (8:00 GMT | 13:30 IST)


Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium, Fatullah

The Teams


Bangladesh have blown rather hot and cold in their recent home performances. After an impressive series win against New Zealand, they slipped into losing mode against Sri Lanka. It’s only a matter of time before we find out which Bangladesh turns up in the Asia Cup.

In the last edition of the tournament – which was also played in Bangladesh, in 2012 – the hosts punched above their weight and went down fighting in the final against Pakistan. To begin on a high this time, they will have to overcome India in the first match.

They will be happy to take on a Team India sans MS Dhoni and other senior players that were part of the tournament two years ago, including Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir. However, in their first match, Bangladesh also will be without Shakib Al Hasan, a vital cog in their armour.

If Mushfiqur Rahim and his men can exploit the inexperience in India’s leadership and bowling attack, they stand a good chance of outplaying their strong neighbours.


Due to MS Dhoni’s side strain injury, India have been dealt a huge blow ahead of the tournament. However, his absence will not keep India from being a strong batting unit, with a bunch of young batsmen who have achieved enormous success playing in the subcontinent.

The fast bowlers, though, will have to make some adjustments in their strategies, having bowled on the pitches of South Africa and New Zealand over the last three months. The Indian spinners will be back playing the extended role they are used to and that should lighten the captain’s burden to some extent.

While Cheteshwar Pujara will play his third ODI in all probability, Dinesh Karthik will assume the duties behind the stumps. Stuart Binny might be positioned at No.7 to fill in for Dhoni the finisher while also contributing with some overs of seam-up bowling.

Key Players


Rubel Hossain showed form against Sri Lanka, picking up seven wickets in the just-concluded three-match ODI series. The fast bowler kept chipping in at the Sri Lankan top order and displayed special liking towards dismissing the opening batsmen. If he continues with that habit for a bit longer, getting rid of the destructive Indian openers before they bat Bangladesh out of the game, it will ease his captain’s job to a great extent.


Virat Kohli has been in the form of his life with the bat over the last three years. During that period, he also led India in two ODI series. Touted as India’s future captain even before he played his first international game, Virat will now face a litmus test as a leader. Against Asian giants like Sri Lanka and Pakistan, his ability to handle pressure and temperament on the field will be tested. Against aspiring teams like Bangladesh and Afghanistan, he will be expected to be ruthless. The aspect of his captaincy that will be especially under the scanner is how he handles the inexperienced bowling attack and instills confidence in them after two difficult overseas tours. How and whether he maintains his own batting form while doing all these things, will be the clincher.


India vs Bangladesh in ODIs











in Bangladesh





in Asia Cup





Recent Form (Last 5 matches)

India: Lost, Lost, Tied, Lost, Lost

Bangladesh: Lost, Lost, Lost, Won, Won

Average first innings total at Fatullah : 229

Pace vs Spin at Fatullah



















Virat Kohli lost his first match as captain, but since then he has won seven on the trot!

R Ashwin is three short of 100 wickets. If he reaches the milestone tomorrow, he will equal Harbhajan Singh’s record of being the fastest Indian spinner to do so.


Bangladesh: Mushfiqur Rahim (capt/wk), Abdur Razzak, Al-Amin Hossain, Anamul Haque, Arafat Sunny, Imrul Kayes, Mashrafe Mortaza, Mominul Haque, Naeem Islam, Nasir Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Shamsur Rahman, Sohag Gazi, Ziaur Rahman.

India: Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Varun Aaron, Stuart Binny, Amit Mishra, Mohammad Shami, Ishwar Pandey, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja.

Shirin Sadikot & Rajneesh Gupta

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Asia Cup a big captaincy challenge: Virat

India’s stand-in skipper hopes to take a leap forward as leader

Virat Kohli is set for his third stint as India captain when he leads the team in the Asia Cup in Bangladesh. Replacing MS Dhoni – who is down with a side strain – at the helm, Virat empathised with Team India’s regular captain, saying the pressure of leading the team in one tournament cannot be compared to what Dhoni endures day in and day out.

"I don't think this is anything compared to what he (Dhoni) has gone through in the past few years," Virat said. "I am captain for just one tournament. It is completely different from regularly captaining the side. When you win, you're praised, when you lose, you're criticised. It is all a part of it.

"I am not in a position right now to experience all that. I have got this one-odd opportunity like I did in the past as well. I am sure it is a very tough position to be in. You have to be ready to take all the criticism and praise that comes your way," he said.

Virat has some experience of leading India, in the tri-series in West Indies and the ODIs in Zimbabwe last year. The Asia Cup, however, will be a bigger challenge for the 25-year-old batsman, given he will be up against strong teams like Sri Lanka and Pakistan, along with aspiring teams like Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

"I have only been captain for about eight games till now," Virat said. "It went pretty good, but this is a big tournament. It's a challenge I'm looking forward to. We have got a young group of guys and some exciting players.

"I think that excites me to have a group that I can have a chat with and be on the same page. It's important to have an understanding. It's really exciting for me to improve the record, which is already good. I'm looking forward to the tournament."

When the discussion invariably veered to the big India-Pakistan contest, Virat said that the team was focused on winning the tournament rather than devoting all its energy to one game.

"Obviously, we are here to win the tournament. We haven't just come here to play one game and go back home; that's not our aim.

"Our aim is to win every game that we play. A game against Pakistan is always a hyped game for us, obviously a big pressure match. We take every game the same way. You know, the aim is to win the tournament, not just one game, and make sure the people are happy,” Virat said.

BCCI Staff

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