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India’s High-Flying Start to T20 World Cup Faces Major Test Against Bangladesh

Rohit Sharma (Via Rohit Sharma/Twitter)

As Team India takes on Bangladesh in their next Super 8 fixture of the ongoing T20 World Cup in North Sound, Antigua, on Saturday, June 22, the stage is set for an intriguing encounter. The two teams have had contrasting starts to the Super 8 phase, adding more flavor to the match. India’s dominant display against Afghanistan on a slow pitch in Barbados saw them win by 47 runs, thanks to a half-century from Suryakumar Yadav and an incredible spell from Jasprit Bumrah. A win over Bangladesh could all but seal the Men in Blue’s place in the semifinals.

On the other hand, Bangladesh lost their game against Australia by 28 runs (DLS method) in Antigua, but they have an idea about the venue and conditions and some real quality in their batting and bowling that could cause Rohit Sharma and his men some problems. As the two teams face off, there are several match-ups that could make the encounter a potential humdinger. One such match-up is between Towhid Hridoy and Kuldeep Yadav. Hridoy has been Bangladesh’s highest run-scorer in the T20 World Cup so far, having already played some impactful knocks. He has scored 135 runs in five innings and has also shown his ability to attack the spinners.

The Men in Blue will be wary of the threat Hridoy possesses, and that’s why his match-up with Kuldeep Yadav could be intriguing. Kuldeep picked up figures of 2/32 in his first-ever T20 World Cup match against Afghanistan and hadn’t quite been able to hit his straps. It will be interesting to see how he counters Hridoy’s attacking instincts. Another match-up that could be crucial is between Rohit Sharma and Mustafizur Rahman. Rohit Sharma’s woes against left-arm pacers continued as the Indian captain was dismissed by Afghanistan’s Fazalhaq Farooqi in the previous game.

Rohit Sharma (Via Rohit Sharma/Twitter)

Rohit struggled for timing in his knock of 8(13) on a pitch that had grip in it, and that’s where Bangladesh may find Mustafizur and his variation handy. Apart from his seam-up delivery, Mustafizur also has a bag of variations that might frustrate Rohit and cause the latter to play a false shot. The veteran opener has hit 122 runs off the 72 balls that he has faced from the left-arm pacer in T20 cricket, however, he has also been dismissed thrice by the Bangladesh pacer, and it seems an evenly-matched face-off.

Finally, the match-up between Suryakumar Yadav and Rishad Hossain could be the most intriguing. Suryakumar Yadav taking the attack to Rashid Khan was one of the key moments in India’s win over Afghanistan, and the star batter would look to do the same against the Bangladesh spinners. Young leg-spinner Rishad Hossain has had a sensational T20 World Cup so far, with nine wickets from five games at an economy rate of just 6.94. While Suryakumar is a great player of spin, he hasn’t faced Rishad before, and the factor of uncertainty may play its part in making the match-up intriguing. The young leg-spinner has shown that he too has a bag of variations, and it will be interesting to see who draws first blood when the two face off. As the two teams take on each other, it promises to be an exciting encounter that could go either way.

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