Team India and Bangladesh are gearing up for their fourth matches in the 2023 World Cup, scheduled for Thursday, October 19 in Pune. Despite Pakistan and Sri Lanka being India’s traditional rivals, Bangladesh has emerged as a strong challenger in recent ODIs.
The Tigers have surprisingly emerged victorious in three of their last four ODI encounters against their more fancied subcontinent adversaries, even securing a series win at home last year. Additionally, in contrast to Pakistan, Bangladesh achieved a victory against India in their initial World Cup encounter in 2007 and came close to winning in their most recent meeting in 2019.
However, Team India maintains a commanding 31-8 lead in ODI matchups against Bangladesh and is expected to be the clear favorite in the upcoming game. Rohit Sharma’s team is in excellent form, winning nine of their last 11 ODIs and all three in this World Cup. Bangladesh, on the other hand, has one win in three matches and is under pressure to win.
The intense rivalry between these two Asian teams could become even more exciting if Bangladesh delivers their best performance. Yet, to create an upset, Shakib Al Hasan’s team needs to master critical elements of the game.
#3 Eliminating Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli is a necessary
While it’s quite obvious that taking out the mainstays of Indian batting, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, is crucial, their performance has a massive impact on the outcome.
The last four ODIs between the teams illustrate this. For instance, in a recent Asia Cup match where Kohli didn’t play, Bangladesh dismissed Rohit Sharma for a duck, leading to India’s six-run loss in their run-chase of 266.
In a three-match series in Bangladesh, the hosts won two games by getting Kohli out for low scores of 9 and 5. However, in their one defeat by a massive 227 runs, Kohli played a stunning 113 off 91 deliveries.
Additionally, Rohit Sharma has been a force in previous World Cup meetings, with centuries in 2015 and 2019. Shakib Al Hasan, who has dismissed the Indian duo seven times in ODIs, might be the key player, as their batting average against him is just 33.7.
#2 The “M & M” factor consists of Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Mustafizur Rahman
Many of Bangladesh’s surprising victories against India have revolved around standout displays from spin-bowling all-rounder Mehidy Hasan Miraz and left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman. Their statistics are impressive, but it’s their game-changing contributions that truly shine.
Mehidy was the star during Bangladesh’s series win at home last year, rescuing the team from 136/9 to chase 187 with an extraordinary 38* in one match. In the next game, he elevated his heroics to another level, scoring a majestic 100* from 83 deliveries when the team was at 69/6, leading them to a total of 271.
He also took three wickets in those two games, helping secure a rare series win for Bangladesh. It’s not just his bowling; Mehidy’s batting has astounded the Indian team, with an exceptional average of 57 in six games.
Meanwhile, Mustafizur played a pivotal role in Bangladesh’s only other series win against India in 2015. He claimed consecutive five-wicket hauls in his first two matches and has consistently been economical against the Indian team.
The impactful performances of this duo will be crucial for Bangladesh’s hopes of securing a second World Cup victory against India, defying the odds.
#1 Bangladesh’s captain Shakib Al Hasan’s all-round performance
While it’s often said that all eleven players must function as a cohesive unit, Bangladesh’s fortunes heavily rely on their star all-rounder, Shakib Al Hasan. To stand a chance of upsetting the formidable Team India, the 36-year-old must deliver both with the bat and ball.
Ranked as the world’s best all-rounder in ODIs, Shakib has an impressive track record against India, boasting a batting average of over 37.50 and 29 wickets in 22 encounters.
Notably, his numbers soar in Bangladesh’s seven wins over India, with an incredible batting average of 53.70, including four half-centuries. Additionally, his bowling average remains under 30, with 10 wickets and an outstanding economy rate of 4.48 runs per over.
Shakib is renowned for his ability to shine on the grandest stages, as evident from his match-winning half-century in Bangladesh’s surprising victory over India in the 2007 World Cup and his overall performance in the 2019 edition.
During the 2019 World Cup, he ranked third in the run-scoring charts, amassing 606 runs at a remarkable average of 86.57 and a strike rate of 96, featuring two centuries and five half-centuries in eight games.