Just a few days after they concluded a tour of New Zealand, India get one of Bangladesh underway on Sunday when the two sides meet in the first of three ODIs. This opening game comes from Mirpur as will the second on Wednesday.
India will host the 50 over World Cup in 10 months and continue their preparation for that competition here. Bangladesh hope to go there as genuine challengers for the title and knocking off a big name here will do them no harm.
Bangladesh have already qualified for the World Cup next year so this series doesn’t really have a huge amount on it for them from a future looking competitive point of view, although this series wouldn’t be part of the qualifying campaign for that competition anyway. What this does offer Bangladesh is a tough opener to their home international window and the chance to build on what was a much better T20 World Cup than it was expected to be.
20 over cricket isn’t really the forte of Bangladesh cricket. They are much better suited to 50 over cricket and their results highlight that, especially in their own conditions where they haven’t been beaten in a bilateral series in over six years. This is the first time we will see Bangladesh in ODI cricket since they were turned over in Zimbabwe back in August. They will look to make a much stronger showing across these matches.
After sending a second string side over to New Zealand to compete, India have chosen something resembling their best squad to take on Bangladesh. I suspect the nature of those two squads were largely down to the proximity of the New Zealand trip to their disappointing departure at the T20 World Cup. There are also Test matches which follow these ODIs so getting game time into their bigger and better players here makes perfect sense.
India were frustrated by the rain in New Zealand but aren’t likely to encounter that issue here but with no warm up outings prior to this series getting underway they are going to have to get to grips with conditions quickly. You would imagine there is going to be natural improvement in India as the series goes along but if they are going to take this opening match down then you would imagine their star batters will be required to stand up and perform.
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Bangladesh are without their captain Tamim Iqbal and Taskin Ahmed for this match but there are senior players available in the form of Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah and Mustafizur Rahman.
India will recall the likes of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli to their side but Mohammad Shami was a late scratch from this series with injury. Jasprit Bumrah is still out injured so Umran Malik has been called into the squad.
This is generally a low scoring ground and with the quality that is on show with the ball in this series I don’t really see that changing here. It might change as the series goes on as the India players, batters specifically, get used to the conditions coming in from the much quicker pitches they have played on either in Australia at the T20 World Cup or that tour of New Zealand. That isn’t going to be an immediate transition so I’m expecting a lot scoring game here.
Scores in ODI cricket have generally risen over the last few years but they haven’t done that on this ground. A score of 250 is pretty rare here. There have only been four scores in excess of 250 in the first innings in the last 12 ODIs here and one of those was only 255 so I don’t think we should be going in here expecting a high scoring game. Two of the Bangladesh established batters haven’t been playing top level cricket for a while too so there is plenty to suggest that 518.5 runs is beyond the two teams here.
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