Posted on: February 25, 2014
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India Vs Bangladesh, 2nd ODI Match of Asia Cup 2014

By Asfak Patel

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India Vs Bangladesh, 2nd ODI Match of Asia Cup 2014

Embarrassed in South Africa and New Zealand, regional powerhouse India would hope for a turnaround under a new captain when they take on a troubled Bangladesh in their Asia Cup opener, Check list of winners on http://bitty.in/8M4aq3

For the five-time champions India, the build up to the 12th edition of the regional tournament has been quite similar to that of 2012 when they landed here on the back of eight successive Test defeats in England and Australia.

Venue: Fatullah Osmani Stadium, Narayanganj, Bangladesh
Date: Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014
Start time: 2 p.m. local time, 8 a.m. GMT

Match Preview

Now they have come here after losing to South Africa 0-1 in Tests and 0-2 in ODIs. They suffered similar humiliation at the hands of New Zealand.

The world champion side capped their two overseas tours with four successive defeats in One-dayers. However, playing against an opponent, who are struggling with their own set of problems and against whom they enjoy a good record, India would hope to finally notch up their first win in the 2014 calender.

Bangladesh's attacking opener Tamim Iqbal has been ruled out of the event because of a neck strain and their all-rounder Shakib-Al-Hasan will also miss the action against India due to his two-match ban for showing lewd gestures on live TV, read related story on http://bitty.in/x109zd

Fitness doubts also hang over veteran pacer Mashrafe Mortaza (swollen knee) while captain Mushfiqur Rahim is nursing an injured finger that had kept him out of the two T20Is against Sri Lanka earlier this month.

Adding to the woes, the host nation clearly did not give a happy picture with selection-related controversy marring the their build-up.

Skipper Musfiqur hit out at their chief selector for picking the squad without consulting him. All this gives India a good chance to make a winning start even without the finishing abilities of skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who was ruled out due to a side-strain, and left-handed Suresh Raina.

Apart from the usual expectation of being the captain, Virat Kohli will also be the Indian batting mainstay as India would take solace from the fact that the stylish right hander's average against Bangladesh is a staggering 122.

Kohli, who totals 732 with four hundreds and three fifties, was the leading run-getter in the last Asia Cup, including tournament's highest 185 against Pakistan.

After being made the captain as Dhoni's replacement for the first time in a tri-series in the West Indies also involving Sri Lanka, Kohli has one loss and seven wins under his belt.

But Asia Cup may prove to be his biggest challenge as games against Sri Lanka and especially Pakistan would be high pressure contests.

Test regular Cheteshwar Pujara will lend stability to the middle order but more than that India would want him to reinvent himself from the classical mould to suit to the demands of the shorter version.

While many have seen Dinesh Karthik's ability as a hard-hitting batsmen in the IPL, it's time for him to prove himself in the One-day format while there would be pressure on Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin down the order.

In such a scenario, India would look to make use of Stuart Binny to play the role of finisher, who at the same time can be handy with his medium pace bowling. But overall, it would be an astounding feat for Kohli if India go all the way to retain their supremacy in the subcontinent's mega tournament.

Last year's runners-up Bangladesh have been the sub-continent's perennial under achievers as they would approach the tournament to fulfill their Trophy drought. This time, it won't be easy though.

Left-handed Tamim's injury has left a big void in the batting department while Shakib's absence from the matches against India and Afghanistan would make their final progression even tougher.

Imrul Kayes who has not played an ODI since December 2011 has been recalled as he would have to justify his selection.

In the bowling Shakib's two game suspension will leave a void but it would be an opportunity to excel for left-armer Abdur Razzak who has emerged as a limited overs specialist with his tidy bowling.

Squads

India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Dinesh Karthik (wicketkeeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Varun Aaron, Ishwar Pandey, Amit Mishra, Ambati Rayudu and Stuart Binny.

Bangladesh: Mushfiqur Rahim (captain and wicketkeeper), Al-Amin Hossain, Arafat Sunny, Mashrafe Mortaza, Naeem Islam, Rubel Hossain, Shakib-Al-Hasan, Ziaur Rahman, Abdur Razzak, Anamul Haque, Imrul Kayes, Mominul Haque, Nasir Hossain, Shamsur Rahman, Sohag Gazi.

Players to watch

Mushfiqur Rahim can be brutal with the bat and although he managed to pass 50 just once against Sri Lanka, his captaincy, his batting and his keeping is one of the most crucial parts of the Bangladesh line-ups.

Ravindra Jadeja's all-round role on Asian wickets will be a handy extra for India. His main role will be with the ball and after a tough tour to New Zealand playing on a track which favours him will be a big relief. With no MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh or Suresh Raina, Jadeja's finishing with the bat will also be important.

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