LIVE Cricket World Cup match 2015 Quarterfinal India v/s Bangladesh: Indian juggernaut meets giant-killers Bangladesh

Dean Jones is out in the middle for a pitch report. He says the pitch won’t assist spinners, but the average score batting first is 290. The highest successful chase here is 297. 7 out the last 10 games have been won by the side batting first. He says it is not an easy pitch to bat on because of the hugeness of the ground and the slightly fast-bowler friendly.

7:13 IST Thursday, 19 March 2015

Welcome to the LIVE coverage of the 2nd quarterfinal – India v/s Bangladesh. The match will begin at 9 am IST at Melbourne.

Bangladesh have created a stir this World Cup by storming into their first ever knockouts by beating England. But unless they beat India in Melbourne, Bangladesh will merely retain their reputation as giant killers. A victory against India however, will catapult Bangladesh into the major leagues, even though it may not make them one of the favourites for the World Cup.

Bangladesh have a terribly uphill task on hand if they wish to make the semifinals. They must beat a team which is not just unbeaten in the tournament, but arguably the best as well. India have surprised one and all, especially by their rampant bowling attack which has not let any opposition score over 287 as yet. Here’s the match preview

Shakib al Hasan seems to know this only too well. He has called this quarterfinal the biggest match Bangladesh have ever played. There is no shortage of confidence though, and Bangladesh’s coach thinks his side is really good.

But the side’s leading bowler, Mashrafe Mortaza, has no idea what a good target for India would look like. One big positive though for Bangladesh is the form of Mahmudullah, who’s made 2 centuries on the trot. Shakib wants him to keep performing.

The build up to this game has not been without its share of chauvinistic belligerence. Bangladeshi fans in particular have gone all out on social media to claim that their side would beat India in the quarterfinals. But it has also led some to hack Indian websites, most notably that of former Union Minister and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor.

India on the other hand, have almost no issues to deal with. The only area of concern may be the patchy form of Rohit Sharma, which means India’s opening has failed almost every time. But this would be a great day for Rohit to come into form. Team India are on a rampage, and it would take something special for Bangladesh to overcome them.

LIVE Cricket World Cup match 2015 Quarterfinal India v/s Bangladesh

Bangladesh have very little to lose in their first appearance in a World Cup knockout match. Not many had expected them to qualify for the quarter-finals ahead of the tournament. Beating Afghanistan and Scotland were considered more important than looking further ahead, especially after a dismal 2014. Bangladesh’s goal posts moved as soon as they beat England in Adelaide.

Pressure, though, isn’t much on the Bangladesh players. Sure, there is a large media contingent following the team and the madness back home is at an all-time high. But India have it a lot harder, in every sense of the word. Simply put, no team riding a wave as high as India’s would want to lose to a lower-ranked team.

Take early India wickets

Bangladesh rely heavily on a good start with the ball whether bowling first or second. They have taken at least one wicket in the first ten overs in four out of five group matches. The only time an opening partnership went beyond the first 10 and 20 overs was Sri Lanka’s after Anamul Haque dropped a sitter in the first over at the MCG.

Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have had only one substantial partnership, when they added 174 against Ireland. Bangladesh can take heart from the fact that this pair has not batted together for more than 7.3 overs in the other five group matches.

Bowl better at the death

India’s run rates in different stages of the innings in this World Cup read: 4.65 in the first 10 overs, 5.88 from the 11th to the 40th over and 8.86 in the last 10 overs.

Bowling first or second, Bangladesh have to break these scoring trends if they are to have any chance to remain at the same level of contest. They have generally kept the lid on the opposition’s batsmen in the first 10 (4.42) and the next 30 (5.09) overs. But the main danger is the last 10 overs when Bangladesh have conceded at 9.38 runs per over, so anything lesser would be seen as an advantage, particularly if they are bowling first.

Handle the short ball

If Bangladesh have been looking at India’s bowling footage, they must have seen Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Mohit Sharma take wickets with bouncers. Shami has used it best, taking the wickets of Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Hashim Amla and Chris Gayle, among others. Umesh and Mohit have bowled at sharp pace, particularly when pitching it short.

Playing the short ball was one of Bangladesh’s primary concerns before they arrived in Australia in January. Two weeks in Brisbane were not considered sufficient enough to get the batsmen tuned to lengths there but so far only two of their dismissals have been caused by bouncers: Sabbir Rahman and Soumya Sarkar dismissed by Lasith Malinga and Chris Jordan respectively.

Remember who they are playing

Bangladesh players have mentioned it a few times in the past that they find extra motivation when playing against India. Nobody has been able to put a finger on the exact reasons but this has emerged mostly after they won in the 2007 World Cup in Port-of-Spain. They have only won once more, in the 2012 Asia Cup, but the players never stop talking about the excitement of playing against India. Who doesn’t like beating their neighbours?

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