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T20 World Cup: India vs Bangladesh may turn out to be a battle of spinners | Cricket News

BRIDGETOWN: There’s no time to rest. India had just finished a comprehensive win against Afghanistan at the Kensington Oval on Thursday, but even before they could catch their breath, Rohit Sharma’s boys were on the road again. It’s going to be like this till the end of the World Cup. This time it’s destination Antigua, where they take on neighbours Bangladesh, who haven’t really been a match for India over the years.
The pitch at the Vivian Richards Stadium isn’t what it used to be. The pace and bounce that were so integral to cricket in this part of the world is a thing of the past and now it’s only spin, spin and more spin.

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Quite predictably, India shifted from their four-pacer theory in the USA leg of the World Cup to a three-spin line-up, with Kuldeep Yadav being added to a lineup which already included Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel.
Kuldeep took 2-32 against the Afghans after star pacer Jasprit Bumrah had done the early damage. The Indian attack is truly looking very balanced.
Bangladesh, too, during the course of their loss to Australia in Antigua in a day-nighter on Thursday, played four spinners. Offies Mahedi Hassan and Mahmadullah will be backed by leggie Rishad Hossain and left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hassan.


On paper, Bangladesh have a bit of depth, but that doesn’t count for much in a game against India. Man to man, India’s spinners are better than Bangladesh, the Indian batters’ ability against spin should also stand them in good stead.
Suryakumar Yadav is probably the best player of spin in limited-overs cricket and he has been in supreme touch of late, scoring two back-to-back, match-winning half-centuries. Shivam Dube, too, is a monster against spin, and so is Rishabh Pant.
Virat Kohli is still due for a big score but batting coach Vikram Rathour seems hardly bothered.


“Obviously we want him to score but even when he hasn’t, the others have chipped in, which is a good sign. But Virat stays at the top of the order and we know he will get the runs,” Rathour said.
Though there is a quiet confidence about the way India are going about their job, there can always be a worry that complacency may creep into the ranks, especially against a team that isn’t fancied on paper. And the World Cup is being played in such a format that one defeat can suddenly make qualification difficult, especially with the threat of rain always round the corner.
While India will be keen not to have a curtailed game — Antigua doesn’t have any rain forecast in the next couple of days — Rathour insisted that the team is taking all measures to ensure they don’t lose focus ahead of a match like this.


“We know what we are expected to do and everyone understands that. There is absolutely no option for any kind of complacency,” Rathour said.
The fact that Bangladesh have a bit of depth in their spin attack has also kept the Indian management on their toes.
“They have some experienced spinners in conditions which are favourable for spin. And they are a good team, there’s a reason why they are in the Super 8,” the batting coach warned.


The likes of Shakib, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Liton Das or Mustafizur Rahman have been playing India for a very long time and it is not that they haven’t troubled the Men in Blue on an odd occasion or two, especially in bilateral T20 cricket.
Left-arm medium pacer Mustafizur, not too long ago, looked particularly good playing for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL and his cutters may just be effective on a pitch like Antigua’s. Add to that the extra gear that Bangladesh will try to find, especially because it’s India and their survival in the World Cup is on the line. India will have to avoid any possible pitfalls.

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