ODI series Preview, India in Bangladesh 2007: Bangladesh aim to continue ascendancy over confused India
Two teams that met in the World Cup in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago on
17th March 2007, are facing each other again, for a 3 match ODI series. After
the fanciful dream of a Bangladesh win turned into reality and resulted in chaos
in the commercial capital of cricket, world cricket is now enjoying a completely
different build-up for the series. Amid uncertainty of supremacy in the shorter
version of the game, Bangladesh is hoping to win an ODI series against India
for the first time in their cricket history.
While the win over India in the World Cup paved the way for more cricketing
successes for Bangladesh, it hit India with more disarray than they had ever
faced in their rich cricketing history. The World Cup exit at the hand of Bangladesh,
a team they denied to host for years for commercial reasons, has rung in changes
to Indian cricket, and have opened up a veritable Pandora's box which they are
now struggling to close.
Coach axed, senior players rebuked, endorsements scrapped, payments denied,
key players getting injured, and refusals to sign contract, these are the headlines
hitting the Indian newspapers ahead of a very crucial Bangladesh tour. After
their premature World Cup exit, things are going from bad to worse for Indian
cricket. Amid this disarray, Indian players are facing intense heat from the
fans, endorsements and cricket board to perform, and restore the pride of Indian
On the contrary, after a very successful World Cup mission, Bangladesh is enjoying
their best moments of cricketing history. Players getting receptions, World
Cup reward money, positive media attention, never ending fan affection and the
warmth of home conditions before facing India again. The Bangladesh outfit is
representing itself as a happy family, who are ready to say good bye to Dav
Whatmore, their father figure coach, after a successful stint of four years.
Bangladesh fans, who always express gratitude to every little success of the
Tigers, watched the glorious moments of Bangladesh cricket on the television.
Now, a refreshing looking young Bangladesh is aiming to topple India, yet another
time, in front of their fans at home. While Bangladesh discovered confidence
at the World Cup, Indian confidence and pride is shattered badly and recent
developments are making them increasingly confused over their future strategies.
Bangladesh is keen to exploit every single opportunity to continue the ascendancy
they ruthlessly displayed over the Indians in Trinidad.
Bangladesh have kept their faith on their World Cup squad. They have made no
changes for the India series except for dropping Rajin Saleh, who has not featured
in any of the World Cup matches. The spirit is high in the team, and skipper
Habibul Bashar is upbeat about winning the ODI series.
"There is always pressure in a home series and now the expectation is high
after our victory against India. India will definitely be desperate to erase
the bitter memory but I am confident of beating them again. I think it is difficult
but not impossible to win the one-day series against India," said Bashar after
returning from the Caribbean. The whole team echoed his voice and they are keen
to retain the hard earned respect, knowing a series win over India can only
India aiming to avenge World Cup defeat Â© Cricinfo
Indian selectors tried hard to deliver a new look Indian team. In a bid to
look to the future, the board wanted young players after the shambolic defeat
at the hands of the Bangladeshi youth brigade averaging only 18 years. In spite
of this desire, the scenario remains the same as selectors could only manage
to offer two places for young talents in the 14 member squad. Manoj Tiwary and
Piyush Chawla earned their places in the squad, and there is a slim hope that
any one of them will get a nod in the playing XI. Ironically, none of the future
talents managed to find their names in the Test squad.
Dropping out of form Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh and Ajit Agarkar from
the ODI team, and selecting Dinesh Mongia, Romesh Powar and Sreesanth in their
place could hardly camouflage the fact that India still believes in their old
and tested cricketers, and are not yet ready to groom young stars for the future.
None of the Indian batsmen except Yuvraj Singh is enjoying good form and the
rest have to rely on net practices to gain their form back as there is no tour
match scheduled before the ODI series. Inclusion of Sreesanth and RP Singh will
boost Indiaâ€™s bowling attack, but lack of quality spinner in spin friendly Bangladesh
conditions is a significant weakness.
After starting the preparation camp in Kolkata, where conditions are somewhat
similar to Bangladesh, India faced more dramatic developments that dented their
plans for the Bangladesh series. Both Sachin and Dravid managed to get themselves
injured. The players have refused to sign the contract over pay disputes. Things
really are not looking ideal for â€œTeam Indiaâ€ who face an acid test in the up-coming
ODI series. Newly appointed coach-cum-manager Ravi Shastri is trying hard to
restore order and discipline, which is the key requirement for the Indian team,
who are facing constant criticism and aiming to bounce back.
Bangladesh earned their confidence
after a historic win over India in Trinidad Â© Cricinfo
Bangladesh have progressed significantly as an ODI outfit over the last couple
of years. After their World Cup success, they have earned valuable confidence
to compete at the top level. Having said that, lack of consistency still remains
a major concern for the young Bangladesh team. Bangladesh have consistently
managed to mix the best with the worst, and some superb performances are more
than often marred by below par displays. They must find the right balance to
continue the success they achieved in the World Cup. While the bowling department
has performed and elevated them to world standards, the batting has let the
team down on numerous occasions.
The Bangladeshi top order must find their lost rhythm in favorable home conditions
to outshine India. The aggressive and positive intent of Tamim Iqbal, Aftab
Ahmed and Mohammad Ashraful is the key to Bangladeshâ€™s success in ODIs, but
failure to control the rush of blood is another key concern. Both out of form
Shahriar Nafees, who lost his vice-captaincy to Mohammad Ashraful, and skipper
Habibul Bashar, who is playing his last home series in ODI, need to sort out
their batting woes to stabilize the explosive but fragile batting order.
The spin trio of Bangladesh is the heart of the bowling attack and the smothering
influence of Mohammad Rafique, Abdur Razzak and Sakib Al Hasan has lifted Bangladesh
even in the most difficult bowling conditions. They are expected to fire on
all cylinders in favorable home conditions and their domination can effectively
tie up even the spin experienced Indian batting line up.
The new ball bowlers, Mashrafe Mortaza and Syed Rasel, provide the effective
balance in the attack. Both of them are genuine wicket takers. While Mashrafe
surprises the opposition with his pace and swing, Rasel deceives batsmen with
accuracy and lack of pace. Considering current form, Bangladesh will be heading
to the ODI series with a much better and balanced bowling attack compared to
Bangladesh have already established their supremacy in fielding, which is the
third frontier of the game, over their sub-continental rivals, India and Pakistan.
The aging Indian cricket team will find it difficult to deal with the youthful
and agile Tigers, and this can make a real difference in a keenly contested
Bangladesh is trying to cope with a busy schedule of International cricket,
as they got only a week's rest after a grueling three-month long Caribbean mission.
A success over apparently struggling India, who received sufficient rest due
to their first round exit from the World Cup, can bring some refreshing moments
for the Tigers.
With confidence running high, Bangladesh are aiming to continue their ascendancy
over their neighbor, who until recently considered Bangladesh as an easy walkover.
The youth brigade is ready to offer more sleepless night to the declining cricket
super-power, in a bid to establish them as a new powerhouse of world cricket.