Mar 07, 2018
By MI Media
It took a special knock from Kusal Perera to stop Team India in its tracks in Colombo on Tuesday. He outsmarted the Indian bowlers in such fashion that it was extremely difficult for the visitors to make a comeback in the opening match of the Nidahas Trophy Tri-series at the R Premadasa Stadium. The unexpected loss will mean some additional pressure on Rohit Sharma & Co. when they take on Bangladesh at the same venue on Thursday.
Unlike Team India, who have rested a few of the senior players, Bangladesh talisman Shakib Al-Hasan has been forced out of the series due to injury. Liton Das has replaced the senior all-rounder in the squad and Mahmudullah will continue to lead the side. Das, a right-handed batsman, has been in fine form on the domestic circuit, and will be keen to grab any opportunity in this series. On the other hand, despite of few wonderful performances for Delhi, Rishabh Pant couldn’t live up to expectations. It will be interesting to know what skipper Sharma does with respect to personnel and strategy.
Courtney Walsh, Bangladesh’s interim coach, will be hoping for a reversal in fortunes after his boys suffered defeat after defeat to Sri Lanka. Bangladesh have won only one of their last nine Twenty20 Internationals. The numbers will not favour Bangladesh when they face Team India, but they will hope to start their campaign with a win. Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman and Taskin Ahmed will hope to upset the applecart with probing spells both up front and at the death. And the likes of Imrul Kayes, Sabbir Rahman, Mahmudullah and Tamim Iqbal will have to step up and score runs without any pressure.
Sharma’s dismissal for nought the other night was an aberration. The captain will be keen on giving India a great start in the company of the in-form Shikhar Dhawan. Suresh Raina will have to display loads of maturity as he strives to become an India regular all over again. Apart from Dhawan’s 90 runs — his individual highest score in T20Is — India didn’t have much to feel good about.
Shardul Thakur conceded 27 runs off the first five balls he bowled on the night. It was he who got Perera going. Jaydev Unadkat, too, gave away 35 runs in three overs. Cleary, India felt the absence of Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar.
Rohit Sharma vs Mustafizur Rahman:
This is going to be an interesting contest. Rahman knows he has a chance of stamping his authority on the game by dismissing Sharma. On the other hand, the India skipper is always just one knock away from regaining that sublime touch. And let’s not forget that these gentlemen will share the dugout when the Vivo IPL 2018 comes calling in April.
Mahmudullah vs Washington Sundar:
Washington Sundar was the most economical bowler against Sri Lanka. The youngster will be keen on carrying on the good work. How he counters the spunk of the in-form Mahmudullah will go some way in determining the outcome of the match.
Suresh Raina vs Nazmul Islam:
Islam, a slow left-arm orthodox bowler, made his Twenty20 International debut in the just-concluded series against Sri Lanka. He played in both games but couldn’t create an impact. However, he will be up against Team India for the first time. It will be interesting to see how India’s left-handers, especially Suresh Raina, deal with Islam. Raina is due a big score and Islam is yearning to make a mark. It’s going to be a riveting contest.