Sports, Cricket

Tigers eye second successive home series win over India

Published : 06 Dec 2022 07:08 PM

Beating India in successive ODI series at home condition will be a high mark for Bangladesh cricket team, who will take an incontrovertible lead if they win the second ODI on Wednesday. Their one-wicket win in the first game made for compelling viewing, and the 51-run tenth-wicket stand between Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Mustafizur Rahman reinforced just how dangerous Bangladesh are at home.

They won from an improbable position, however, and India will rue the chances they gave the last-wicket pair. They might also look to rethink how they went about their batting.

Given how tricky the pitch at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium was to bat on, and given that their total of 186 almost proved a winning one, India might look at some of their dismissals - two came off reverse-sweeps, and two off pulls against Ebadot Hossain’s extra bounce - and wonder if they may have been better served batting out the 50 overs. KL Rahul, who top-scored with a 70-ball 73, suggested that 230-240 would have been a good score on that surface.

India packed their side with four allrounders and while most of them bowled well, three of them fell for single-digit scores. One match is perhaps too small a sample to draw conclusions from, but there is a chance India could look to shore up their batting with another specialist in the middle order. Bangladesh have issues to worry about too. They went 104 balls without hitting a boundary at one stage of the first ODI, and all that pressure contributed to their collapse from 128 for 4 to 136 for 9. If the pitch on Wednesday is a similar one, their batters may need to come out with clearer plans regarding their scoring areas.

Their bowling, however, was impressive. Mustafizur, Ebadot Hossain and Hasan Mahmud forced the batters onto the back foot, literally and figuratively, and Shakib Al Hasan made skillful use of the natural variation on offer to bag five wickets. Mehidy was also effective inside the first powerplay. If they can put on another collective display on Wednesday, India might find it difficult to get back into the series.

After the first ODI, Mehidy Hasan Miraz said it didn’t seem like Litton Das was leading the ODI side for the first time. For a cricketer of his stature, Litton hasn’t captained a lot in major domestic or franchise cricket, but he has caught the eye with his tactical nous and maturity.

He is undoubtedly the leading batter across formats for Bangladesh in 2022, particularly in ODIs where they are without regular captain Tamim Iqbal. The challenges are getting bigger for Litton, though, and he’ll want to lead the way with bat and in the field as Bangladesh look to press home the advantage after taking a 1-0 lead.