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Smarting India clash against inspired Bangladesh
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Smarting India clash against inspired Bangladesh

One of the fiercest Asian rivalries in cricket comes to life on Tuesday at Edgbaston as India, fresh from defeat against England, will take on familiar foes Bangladesh, who are still in contention for a semi-final spot.

Bangladesh's World Cup campaign has been an impressive journey where they've beaten the top sides South Africa and the West Indies in emphatic fashion and have been admirable in the close defeats too.

Bangladesh's batting has revolved around the senior duo of Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan, with the latter featuring among the top run-getters in this tournament.

With several all-rounders packed in the playing XI, Bangladesh's batting depth has not been a point of concern in the World Cup but instead, it is their lackadaisical bowling efforts at times which lets them down.

While spinners have repeatedly held onto one end, there has been a dearth of quality pace bowling at the other end to apply pressure on opposition batsmen.

India themselves have had their confidence dented by a 31-run loss to England, exposing their middle order inefficiencies.

Although India's superior net run rate already perhaps ensures them a place in the final four, they would be keen on regrouping and improving on their batting woes.

An off day experienced by the wrist-spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav would best be forgotten by the Indian team since their success in limited overs cricket largely relies on these two.

India-Bangladesh contests are always fraught with tensions exceeding beyond the scope of the game being conducted on the field.

The last time these two sides met in a World Cup, two umpiring decisions presumably in favour of the Indian team generated a lot of controversy among Bangladesh fans, even attracting a comment from the BCB chief.

Mahmudullah expected to return

Bangladesh's key middle order batsman Mahmudullah is quickly recovering from his calf injury and will possibly be returning to his side's playing XI in the high-stakes clash.

Mahmudullah's performances in this tournament have not been outstanding but he still continues to be a crucial member of the team owing to his additional ability to bowl tidy off-spin.

His inclusion strengthens Bangladesh's batting as he is able to anchor the innings if one of the top order players fails to carry through.

Pant's adventurous outing

Star batsman Rishabh Pant has frequently been labeled as the next big thing in Indian cricket primarily due to his unorthodox batting technique and eclectic range of strokes.

A fiery lower order player, Pant had a decent outing in his first World Cup match against England as he showed glimpses of his brilliance during the short stay at the crease.

With Vijay Shankar ruled out of the World Cup, Pant will be expected to bat at number four in the remainder of the tournament and he would be looking to build upon a promising start in the upcoming encounters.


Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Abu Jayed, Liton Das (wk), Mahmudullah, Mehidy Hasan, Mohammad Mithun (wk), Mohammad Saifuddin, Mosaddek Hussain, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hussain, Sabbir Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan, Soumya Sarkar, Tamim Iqbal

India: Virat Kohli (c), Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, MS Dhoni (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami, Vijay Shankar, Rohit Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav