After their shocking one wicket loss against Bangladesh in the first ODI on Sunday, a shell-shocked India will be keen to bounce back in Wednesday’s second ODI and stay alive in the three-match series.
p>Bangladesh clinched victory from the jaws of defeat courtesy Mehidy Hasan Miraz, who scored an unbeaten 38 in a low-scoring thriller, putting on a match-winning 51-run stand for the last wicket with Mustafizur Rahman in the series opener.
Traditionally, batting has India’s big strength but it is proving to be their biggest bane especially in white ball cricket in the last couple of years.
In the first ODI, Shikhar Dhawan (7) and Rohit Sharma (27) failed to give India a good start as the top order struggled to cope on a difficult pitch at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka.
K L Rahul, accomodated in the playing XI as the wicket-keeper and a middle order batter in place of the absent Rishabh Pant, saved India the blushes with a quickfire 73 from 70 balls as they were bowled out for a lowly 186 in 41.2 overs.
Rahul enjoyed no support as the other batters came undone against left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan, who took 5/46, and pacer Ebadot Hossain, who bagged 4/47.
The Indian bowlers to their credit came up with a lionhearted performance to stretch Bangladesh right till the end despite defending a below-par 187.
At one stage, India looked set for an easy win as Bangladesh collapsed to 136/9 in the 40th over before Mehidy and Mustafizur staged a great escape.
India’s ploy of packing the team with all-rounders didn’t work. The team is clearly missing a genuine wicket-taking spinner in the middle overs in the absence of wrist spinners like Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, who were rested after the tour of New Zealand.
While Washington Sundar took 2/17 in five overs, left-arm spinner Shahbaz Ahmed failed to make an impression as he went wicketless conceding 39 in nine overs.
Pacer Kuldeep Sen bagged a couple of wickets to finish with 2/37 in his debut match, but he leaked a lot of runs at the end.
Dhawan’s place in the team is under the scanner, after not scoring too many runs in his last three innings — including two in New Zealand. He could make way for someone like Ishan Kishan, who is capable of attacking the bowlers in the early overs and give the team a flying start while also taking the pressure off Rohit at the other end.
Among the bowlers, India could do well to bring back Umran Malik in the playing XI and test Bangladesh’s batters with some extra pace and bounce. Umran impressed with his pace and control during the ODI series in New Zealand, picking up three wickets in three games.
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