For the first time since their triumphant campaign in the inaugural edition in 2007, India are in with a genuine chance of making the semifinals of World T20.
The storm back home -- in the light of sweeping changes proposed by the Supreme Court that are likely to have far-reaching ramifications in the functioning of the BCCI -- isn’t an ideal scenario to have in the midst of a global tournament but India would do well to recall their stirring run to title triumph in the Champions Trophy last June in England.
Few had given chances for MS Dhoni’s team when it left India after the spot-fixing and betting allegations in the IPL 6 had put the team in an uneasy spot.
The Indian team, however, showed great fortitude to emerge champions. The situation isn’t too dissimilar now and it remains to be seen if and how Dhoni weathers this latest storm.
Having scored two wins in as many matches in Group 2, the former champions will look to further strengthen their chances of progressing with a win over struggling Bangladesh at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium on Friday.
A win against hosts will seal their place in the last four if West Indies put it across Australia in the day’s first match.
A win for West Indies may see Australia out of the race possibly making the clash between Pakistan and the Caribbean side a virtual quarterfinal.
In the event of a West Indian defeat, there is possibility of a three-way tie between India, Pakistan and Australia and in which case net run-rate will come into role to the decide the semifinalists.
India, however, will not want their fate to be decided by the results of other matches. The memories, and not so pleasant, from the last edition in Sri Lanka are still fresh when one big loss against Australia put them out of the tournament, rendering their wins against Pakistan and South Africa redundant.
Bangladesh should be an easy hurdle to cross for India given the form-book .
India are coming on the back of a two comfortable wins fashioned by their bowlers while the home team’s two mediocre outings have seen them crash to humiliating defeats against Hong Kong (in the final qualifier) and West Indies.
With their morale having hit the rock bottom, Bangladesh will have to regroup quickly against an in-form India. With their bowlers, and spinners in particular, causing major damage upfront, the Indian batsmen haven’t had much to do so far in the Super 10 stage but they will be tested if the toss doesn’t go Dhoni’s way.
The openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, as a unit, haven’t had much success in recent times while Virat Kohli is bound to have an off day or two.
Suresh Raina’s return to form has been the biggest gain so far as batting is concerned while Yuvraj Singh’s struggle has been of equal concern.
The Indian skipper has been lucky with the spin of coin in the first two matches that has allowed him to insert the opposition on slow pitches and constrict them with his three-pronged spin strategy.
Bangladesh didn’t have great success against West Indies on Tuesday employing India’s template but they may want to chase again should they win the toss.
India generally are comfortable chasing targets but they can afford to set one against Bangladesh as it would also give them a fair idea about their ability to defend totals ahead of bigger clashes.
That said, Bangladesh have given India some hard times in the shorter version – one such defeat against them had sent them out of the 2007 World Cup in West Indies.