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Star Indian batter Virat Kohli interacts with head coach Rahul Dravid during a practice session ahead of the match against Bangladesh at Adelaide Oval on Tuesday. Team India were forced to practice indoor due to rains. Image Credit: ANI

Dubai: India will aim to bring their T20 World Cup campaign back on track with a win over Bangladesh after the loss to South Africa. A win on Wednesday will virtually assure India a semi-final spot from Group 2 even if South Africa win the rest of their games. More importantly, the win will spike Bangladesh’s hopes of advancing to the last four.

The possibility of rain in Adelaide could upset India’s calculations and improve the chances of other teams. If India and Bangladesh split points, Shakib Al Hasan’s team will remain in the race as both teams will have the same number of points. It will become more interesting if Pakistan boost their semi-final hopes by defeating South Africa.

Bangladesh track record

So, a lot of hopes are riding on the India-Bangladesh encounter.

India are wary of Bangladesh’s track record of ambushing opponents. India’s coach Rahul Dravid has first-hand experience of Bangladesh’s giant-killing acts. He was captain when they stunned India in the 2007 ODI World Cup in Trinidad.

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Ground staff covers the pitch amid rain on the eve of the match between India and Bangladesh. Image Credit: ANI

“We respect them. They’re a very good team,” Dravid told reporters on Tuesday. “This format and this World Cup has really shown us you can’t take any team lightly. Ireland showed that against England. The margins of victory and defeat even if they are 12-15 runs, it’s actually two hits.

Arshdeep lauded

“On top of that, these conditions have levelled the playing field to a large extent because the boundaries are bigger. Some of those hits you expect in the subcontinent to go for six … it’s not happening that easily. People are getting out.”

Dravid is encouraged by the performance of young left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh, India’s leading wicket-taker with seven wickets at an economy rate of 7.83. “It was really heartening for us to see the way young Arshdeep Singh has developed over the last few months,” he said.

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Under-fire Indian opener KL Rahul and Ravichandran Ashwin moving to indoor nets amid rains in Adelaide. Image Credit: ANI

The India coach also backed the under-fire opener KL Rahul, who has failed to get into double figures in three matches so far. “I think he is a fantastic player. He has got a proven track record. He is playing really well and I’m hoping it all clicks together in the next three or four games,” Dravid said.

Bangladesh are on par with India on points but have a lower run rate, having beaten Zimbabwe and the Netherlands and losing to South Africa. They are in the process of building a team for the future.

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Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hassan arrives for the practice session in Adelaide. Image Credit: ANI

Sridharan Sriram, Techincal Consultant of the Bangladesh Twenty20 team, in an exclusive chat from Adelaide, told Gulf News: “We are doing things right to build a good Twenty20 team for the future. At this stage, we would like to take one game at a time without looking too far ahead.”

Keep improving

Sriram, assistant coach to Australia for six years, took charge of Bangladesh in August with a focus on the World Cup. “We are focused on two things, improvement and impact. Our players are very aware of what they need to do. They have to be at the game at different stages, and we have to keep improving as a team. That will be the focus,” he said.

On the eve of the big game against India, Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan said his side are the underdogs. “India are the favourite team. They came here to win the World Cup. We are not favourites, and we didn’t come here to win the World Cup, so you can understand the situation,” he said.

“We know it very well, if we win against India, it will be called an upset, and we will try to play our best cricket and make an upset,” Shakib said.