“It takes one day,” is the theme of the current World Cup. Across venues, these words leap from ICC banners. Perhaps it is the unspoken motto within the teams as fortunes get altered and a new dawn is embraced. True to that spirit, Afghanistan and the Netherlands ambushed England and South Africa respectively because all it takes is just one day.
However, if one team has retained its rich vein of form so far in this championship, it has to be India. With three wins on the trot, the Men in Blue have been on an upward climb even if the peak of lifting the World Cup remains an evolving dream. A familiar rival awaits India in the match at the MCA Stadium here on Thursday. Bangladesh, a neighbour with a long border and a shared love for Bengali and riverine fishes like the hilsa, has hurt India in the past.
The two distinct banana peels for India were the matches in the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies and the 2012 Asia Cup in Dhaka. The first loss saw India crashing out of the premier tournament and the then distraught skipper Rahul Dravid is now the coach while the second defeat ruined Sachin Tendulkar’s special night after he had registered his 100th international hundred. Recently, Bangladesh overcame India with a six-run win in the Asia Cup joust in Colombo on September 15.
Yet, India would fancy its chances while being guarded. Rohit Sharma’s men have ticked most boxes with the batting and bowling arms being in sync. Runs posted, wickets claimed and catches taken, cricket’s elementary nuances have all been seemingly mastered by the host even if these are early days for a long-winding tournament. While the playing eleven seems set, it remains to be seen if Mohammed Shami or R. Ashwin get a toe-in, a prospect that bowling coach Paras Mhambrey did not commit upon in the pre-game media interaction.
On match-eve, a warm sun beat down on the grass and India would hope that its strategies remain efficient and the game would be as easy as dunking this city’s favourite Shrewsbury cookies into a cup of tea. Obviously, Bangladesh will have other plans.
The old duo of skipper Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim may be the fulcrum but there are fitness concerns around the former, which he partially allayed with a stint in the nets on Tuesday. However, a final call on the Bangladeshi skipper’s availability will be taken on Thursday morning. Having lost two out of three tussles in this World Cup, the visitors have to lift their game. Bangladesh does know a trick or two about cutting down the Big Brother to size, starting from 2007. India, though, would prefer to stay imposing, like the rolling hills around the venue.
- Bahrain Grand Prix: F1 champion Verstappen of Red Bull on pole for season-opener
- Ranji Trophy semifinal: Chandrakant Pandit eyes victory against former side as Vidarbha, Madhya Pradesh face off
- German Open 2024: Jolly-Gayatri bow out of quarterfinals, lose to Chinese pair of Jing-Min
- Mohun Bagan vs Jamshedpur FC highlights, MBSG 3-0 JFC, ISL 2023-24: Sadiku, Cummings, Petratos goals guide Mariners to comfortable win
- ISL 2023-24: Mohun Bagan Super Giant cruises to win against Jamshedpur FC