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Bangladesh push for historic series win against jolted India
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Bangladesh push for historic series win against jolted India

Bangladesh arrived in India weighed down by a tumultuous few weeks and hazardous weather conditions in New Delhi as pundits predicted a cakewalk for the strong home side.

In a surprising turn of events, Bangladesh have turned the pre-series narrative on its head after the completion of the first T20I where they registered their maiden win over India in the shortest format.

The sentimental value of the seven-wicket win for Bangladesh can be understood by Mushfiqur Rahim's remarks following the landmark victory as he felt relieved to bring back smiles to the team.

Mahmudullah Riyad's men are thus keen to prove their mature cricketing display in the previous game was not a one-off fluke.

Mahmudullah's proactive captaincy was a highlight in the opening match as he tactfully rotated his bowlers not permitting the Indian batsmen to adjust to the lengths of his wily spinners.

"I said to the journalists before leaving Bangladesh that the only way to return to the right track would be with a couple of wins in India," he confidently told reporters on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, India's selectors have copped criticism from former all-rounder Yuvraj Singh for their reluctance to stick with one fixed unit.

The Rohit Sharma-led Indian side packed with young and inexperienced players are under pressure from fans to draw level and avoid a humiliating series defeat at home.

India's death overs bowling is a major area of concern with Khaleel Ahmed, in particular, leaking a lot of runs the other night that shifted the momentum towards the visitors.

As Cyclone Maha approaches the city of Rajkot, the possibility of a rain-affected encounter increases and the spotlight will be on batsmen vying to make the most of the flat surface.

Shikhar Dhawan looks to make amends

Shikhar Dhawan received plenty of flak for an ungainly 42-ball 41 during India's loss in the first T20I as he struggled to find fluency all throughout his innings.

The southpaw's failure to return to his potent self after he sustained an injury in the 2019 World Cup, has cast a cloud of uncertainty on his spot in the T20 setup.

 Shikhar Dhawan is dismissed ©Associated Press

Shikhar Dhawan is dismissed ©Associated Press

Dhawan has a huge responsibility on his shoulders to calmly lead his team's batting charge given India's fragile and unsettled middle order.

Mustafizur Rahman's scratchy form

Mustafizur Rahman's nascent career has been blighted with injuries but he still remains a star attraction in Bangladesh's bowling line-up.

However, a series of ordinary performances in the T20 tri-series at home and a lacklustre outing in New Delhi does not bode too well for the 24-year-old.

He is still expected to spearhead the pace attack though he would be hoping to rediscover his form and replicate the levels of success that first propelled him into the limelight.


Bangladesh: Mahmudullah Riyad (c), Liton Das, Soumya Sarkar, Naim Sheikh, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Mithun, Afif Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain, Aminul Islam, Arafat Sunny, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Shafiul Islam, Abu Hider, Al Amin Hossain

India: Rohit Sharma (c), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Sanju Samson (wk), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Washington Sundar, Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Rahul Chahar, Deepak Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Shivam Dube, Shardul Thakur