Birmingham: After their defeat to England by 31 runs on Sunday, India are aiming to bounce back with a win over Bangladesh at Edgbaston on Tuesday. India are just one victory away from booking their place in the semi-final. They need to beat either Bangladesh or Sri Lanka on July 6 at Headingley.
The fact that England snapped India’s winning streak seems to have hurt them, and they now are determined to clear any uncertainty around their making it to the last four.
There has been a setback for India as Vijay Shankar, who was struck on the left big toe from a Bumrah delivery while batting in the nets on June 19 in Southampton, was ruled out of the World Cup as his injury has worsened and a CT scan revealed that he has sustained a non-displaced fracture. Since the recovery is expected to take a minimum of three weeks, Mayank Agarwal is flying in as an replacement.
Rumour has it that there could be some changes in the playing XI. Opener KL Rahul has failed and Kedar Jadhav hasn’t contributed anything to the team so far. Under these circumstances, it is likely that Ravindra Jadeja, who had taken a stupendous catch of England opener Jason Roy, may come in. The fact that the Indian spinners failed in their match against England has strengthened his chances.
India’s batting coach Sanjay Bangar, who addressed the prematch press conference, even remarked that Bhuvneshwar Kumar was already fit for the England match. So will Kumar and Jadeja come into the XI, and will Rishabh Pant be asked to open the batting? Bangar noted that planning is based on the opponent and track. “Every opponent is different. We will re-assess what we could achieve and what we couldn’t, and take it from there. It’s a fresh game. But since it’s going to be on the same track, we have a bit of an idea of how the track will behave and how the dimensions of the ground are. So we’ll try and maximise them.”
Analysing India’s batting, the coach was of the opinion that the team needs more batting partnerships, especially in the middle order. “While we’ve had some good performances, we just need to build up a few more partnerships. In the last match we had just one big partnership; the second partnership wasn’t really that big. So we need to look at having a better partnership in the middle overs and from the middle order. If that happens, that will be good.”
Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza was asked whether he believes his team is still in contention for a semi-final slot. A very confident Mortaza replied, “Yes, 100 per cent. Although there is not too much left, we have to play at our best. If we manage to win, that will be great. Honestly, both sides are very strong. We will have to play hard and give 100 per cent in every area. The good thing is that we’re still in the race.”
Bangladesh badly wants to beat India, although in all the previous World Cups they (India) have been the stronger side, barring the big upset in 2007. “You never know. If you have a very good day, played every area to 100 per cent effectivity, then it well can be our game. After all it is a sport, and on your day you can beat anybody. So we will give it our best shot.”