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India Vs Bangladesh Preview

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Finally the day when a billion people will well and truly wake up to the World Cup has arrived. Arguably one of the best sides in the world and possibly the nation’s best pool of talent will sweat it out against Bangladesh. India ought to come out as palpable winners but this face off might turn out to be as dreadful an upset as the ones Bangladesh dealt to three major test playing nations in the past i.e. Australia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, apart from India itself. One point is disturbingly clear, if India collapses in this one, their World Cup Dream will have to wait for another four years.

Bangladesh’s reputation of minnows has been sticking around for too long now, to the extent that at one point in time, the ICC had considered withdrawing it’s Test playing status. But Bangladesh has usually managed to come up with a bang when most needed. While the Australian team still looks unbeatable in their poor form, this Bangladesh side went on to defeat Ponting’s men, go ecstatic and shut many of it’s critics up – most of them from down under. Believe it or not, this team has the potential, aided by the format of the tournament, to make it to the next round. If so, it will be at the cost of either India or Sri Lanka. While Sri Lanka will sit back after a comfortable win against Bermuda, India behold a genuine test in their first step towards the ultimate Glory.

India’s strengths

Overall Projected Scores

As the Squadstats predictions show, India can pile up a massive 260+ score in an Innings if they play to their potential. This is much higher than any of New Zealand, England, West Indies and Pakistan who stand at 230, 231, 231 and 227. Compared to that, the Indian bowling normally tends to give away somewhere around 242 runs each innings they bowl- a rare positive difference.However, If we closely compare the two, one thing that people have always suspected is confirmed: the Indian batting always coves up for it’s bowling. . . .and if the batting fails, India  fails.

Dependence on Big Innings Vs Overall Team contribution

On the basis of the performances so far, every Indian batsman scores a 50+ innings every 4 matches, a little lower than England and New Zealand, suggesting that the teams depended on big scores more than team efforts. However, although India depends on the flowering of individual talent, the top order has shown quiet a lot of consistency in delivering the same. In fact, the great trio - Sachin, Saurav and Dravid score, on an average, a fifty once in every three matches. Which probably explains the big overall team score.

Boundaries Vs Quick Singles

Also India scores almost 50 % of its runs in boundaries and sixes. That makes them one of the most attacking teams in the contest. With a line up which only has Dravid remotely close to being of a defensive mindset – and Dravid himself is now one of the best finishers in the world – this is not surprising.

However, India still looks vulnerable when they bat second. This is evident from the fact that in the last 10 innings they chased the Indians score an average of only 230 odd i.e. well below their overall average.

 
The Dragon’s soft underbelly
Weak points that Bangladesh can target

India has a strange tendency to suddenly collapse altogether when everything is going well, without any explanation. After completing a truly astonishing run, this Indian team has often touched a sudden, great low because of which fans of this team would be justified in possessing a strange apprehension.

Over the past 10 games, India hasn’t chased well at all, recording an average of 220. This fact gets more disastrous when Bangladesh enters the equation. Tracking Bangladesh’s four big wins against India, Australia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka shows that whenever Bangladesh has managed an upset they have score somewhere between 220 and 250. So should the Indian collapse tomorrow, we may witness the first upset of this edition of the World Cup.

Four names keep popping up in each of the Bangla’s big wins – Mashrafe Mortaza, Tapash Baisya, Mohammad Rafique and Aftab Ahmad. In almost all of Bangladesh’s wins excluding the one against Australia and including the warm up game against New Zealand, their bowlers have had the opposition down at around 110 for 5 or worse. So India have got to keep their top order secure and stable.

With players like Sachin, Saurav and Dravid in the team, Indian batting ought to be as rock steady as the Great Wall of China. Added to that is the fact that in recent times players beyond these giants have put their hands up to give the teams a fresh and fearsome look. Yuvraj, Dhoni and Pathan have evolved as true match winners thus making this team a true contender for the title. However……

All said and done, a game like cricket is best fought on ground then on paper. So lets sit back with some chips and drinks and witness what could be India’s first victory in their Dream Run. …. or the first step into Nightmare Street

Key for India: Hold wickets and score atleast above 265 or else wrap them up within 200

Key for Bangladesh: Get early wickets, amass a total above 240 or restrict the opposition below 250

 

 



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