Ask anyone from the subcontinent about what could be the biggest upset of the World cup and they are most likely to say Bangladesh beating either India or Sri Lanka.
India and Sri Lanka are in a more challenging group than the rest. Bangladesh have a track record of upsetting the best in ODIs. My Bangladeshi friend from work reminded me that they have beaten three former world cup winners – India, Pakistan and Australia and narrowly missed out on beating the West Indies, another former world cup champion.
Cricinfo’s Siddhartha Vaidhyanathan explains why they will posses a big threat. Cricket is a mind game at the highest level and the tragic death of Manjural Islam will no doubt spur the Bangladeshis. Personal tragedies can often bring out the latent fighting spirit and this is another reason why the Indians should be more careful.
I believe this will be tough game for India and Bangladesh will be worthy opponents.
From India’s point of view, there will be tremendous pressure on two key players – Pathan and Sehwag. Surely one of them will play and will be keenly watched by the Indian think tank as well as the opponents.
The Indian game plan should be simple and straight forward.
- Steady start at Ganguly’s end and Uthappa to play his natural game
- Sachin and Dravid to control the early and mid part of the innings (tackle spinners)
- Yuvraj to gather momentum
- Dhoni and Sehwag/Pathan to finish with a flurry.
Bottom line is – avoid a batting collapse. The Indian bowling is strong enough to defend 250 or bowling first to restrict them to under 225-230.
My prediction – India will win but will be a close one.