World Cup warm-up: India aims to address batting woes against Bangladesh

After the dismal show against New Zealand, the top-order will be keen to do well against Bangladesh in the team’s final practice match.

India’s primary objective during the practice games is to fix its middle-order problems.   -  AP

The top-order will ideally like an extended session in the middle, but the injured Kedar Jadhav and Vijay Shankar’s lack of game time will be a bigger worry for India ahead of its final World Cup warm-up game against Bangladesh here on Tuesday.

The Indian batsmen faltered in bowling-friendly conditions at The Oval as Trent Boult troubled them with both swing and seam movement. India’s primary objective during the practice games is to fix its middle-order problems, but the two protagonists who are likely to fill the important No. 4 and 6 slots have not fully recovered from injuries.

While Kedar injured his left shoulder during the IPL, Vijay Shankar was hit in the nets by a short delivery from Khaleel Ahmed.

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K.L. Rahul gets another opportunity to score runs and cement the No. 4 slot, this time against an attack comprising Mortaza, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain and Shakib Al Hasan.

Though Shakib is recovering from a niggle, Bangladesh coach Steve Rhodes expects him to play a pivotal role in the Tigers’ campaign.

Rohit and Shikhar, who have had some success against Bangladesh, will be keen to make some runs and boost their confidence ahead of the main event.

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If the conditions in Cardiff remain overcast, playing out a testing first spell of Mustafizur or Rubel will be the top-order’s priority. Apart from Rahul, the other player who would like to spend more time in the middle would be Ravindra Jadeja, whose knock was the saving grace in the first warm-up game against the Kiwis.

Hardik’s promotion

An interesting move in the first game was to send Hardik Pandya at No. 5, ahead of M.S. Dhoni, who struggled in tough batting conditions, labouring to 17 off 42 balls.

The bowlers did a decent job in the first outing with both Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami sharp and economical, but a good spell from Kuldeep Yadav will keep him in a better head space after a dismal IPL.

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