New Delhi: In order to remain alive in the 3-match T20I series, Rohit Sharma & Co would put all their efforts to put a brake on Bangladesh’s momentum as both the sides are set to lock horns in the 2nd face-off on Thursday in Rajkot.
The men in blue are deprived of the kind of success in T20s as they have been enjoying in the other two formats of late. On Sunday, they lost the smog-hit opening game in Delhi by seven wickets, a stunning result against a side which landed here after a players’ strike and the suspension of their biggest cricketer – Shakib Al Hasan – for failure to report corrupt approaches.
Moreover, they have already lost a series to Australia at home this year and losing another to Bangladesh will be enough to draw unending flacks.
After losing the previous clash, stand-in-captain Rohit Sharma admitted that India were not up to the mark in the field and a few wrong DRS calls also contributed to the eye-opening defeat. Thus, in the absence of some senior players including regular skipper Virat Kohli, the second game is an ideal platform for the fringe players to show what they are made of.
While Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul need to check their form, the likes of Rishabh Pant, Krunal Pandya and all-rounder Shivam Dube will have to justify their selection and deliver when the situation demands.
It would be interesting to see whether the team management gives another chance to Dube, or brings in Kerala wicket-keeper batsman Sanju Samson. Also, if Karnataka batsman Manish Pandey makes the playing XI, one of them will have to make way for him.
The inexperienced Indian bowling attack is another area of concern for the team management. Pacer Khaleel Ahmed, who leaked 37 runs in his four overs and was hammered for four consecutive boundaries in the penultimate over in Delhi, could be dropped and Shardul Thakur may get a look in.
Spinners Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal and Krunal Pandya will not only have to contain the rival batsmen but will also need to provide breakthroughs.
On the other hand, Bangladesh, who registered their first T20 win against India in nine matches, will look to seal a memorable series victory. The biggest star for coach Russell Domingo’s team was Rahim, who anchored his team’s tricky 149-run chase in Delhi with an unbeaten 60.
Now everything depends on how much of an impact Cyclone Maha, which is expected to make landfall in Gujarat on match day, has on the weather in the city.
India: Rohit Sharma (c), Khaleel Ahmed, Yuzvendra Chahal, Deepak Chahar, Rahul Chahar, Shikhar Dhawan, Shivam Dube, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Krunal Pandya, Rishabh Pant, K L Rahul, Sanju Samson, Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur.
Bangladesh: Mahmudullah Riyad (C), Taijul Islam, Mohammad Mithun, Liton Kumer Das, Soumya Sarker, Naim Sheikh, Mushfiqur Rahhim, Afif Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Aminul Islam Biplob, Arafat Sunny, Abu Hider, Al-Amin Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman and Shafiul Islam.