Even though no one gave them a chance, Bangladesh have surprised everyone and beaten India in India in the first of the 3-match T20I series. Taking advantage of a lackluster and insipid show by India, Bangladesh went on to thump India by 7 wickets after the home side had set them a moderate target of 149.
This will be a big blow to Team India who continue to look uninspiring in T20I cricket. In this particular game, India was really messy – poor batting, dropped catches, drab bowling were the hallmarks of their performance. Bangladesh, meanwhile, will be jubilant after having beaten India for the first time in T20Is and taking a 1-0 lead in the series.
The Tigers would hence head into the 2nd T20I at Rajkot with plenty of confidence. They have a good all-round unit to take India on at home. Mushfiqur Rahim was the star for them in the last game with an unbeaten 60 and would be the main man to watch out for in the 2nd match as he has always done well against India. The likes of Soumya Sarkar, Liton Das and captain Mahmudullah can also come good.
Their bowling has plenty of variety with Mustafizur Rahman, Shafiul Islam, Aminul Islam and Al-Amin Hossain being the ones to watch out for as the pitch might favour them.
India, meanwhile, have plenty of questions to answer. Their top-order, with captain Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul, appear to be stuck in an outdated approach and begin the innings slowly. This puts pressure on the young and inexperienced middle-order and hence the likes of Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant and Krunal Pandya failed to make an impact and would have to do much better in this game. Pant, especially, was poor both as a batsman and a wicket-keeper and really needs to make a big impact on the 2nd match.
India’s bowling was good in patches with seamer Deepak Chahar and spinners Washington Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal being the standout performers. Khaleel Ahmed had another poor outing and it remains to be seen how long can the left-arm seamer continue in the eleven.
Match prediction: India vs Bangladesh, 2nd T20I
There have been only two T20Is played at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot – the venue for the 2nd T20I between India and Bangladesh. India won the first match played here against Australia in 2013 and then lost the second one played against New Zealand.
The track at Rajkot has been very good for batting and scores of 190+ has been achieved thrice in four innings here already. In the 2nd T20I between India-Bangladesh, we can expect another good batting strip that will eventually slow down and help the spinners as well as seamers with variety.
The team batting first should score above 180 and the combined total for this match is expected to be around 340-350. While Bangladesh will certainly have an edge in this game, Team India should make a comeback. They are very strong at home and have enough firepower, if they play sensibly, to overtake Bangladesh. This should be a close contest and the visitors can embarrass the home team again. However, India are the likely the winners of this match and make the series 1-1.