Dhaka: India won their first game of Asia Cup 2014 with ease. For Kohli, this win further improved his record as Indian captain. India did not start off really well while chasing 280 run target. But Kohli and Rahane first steadied the inning and on their way, got involved in 213 runs partnership. Eventually, they got out before India crossed the line. But by that time, India needed not more than 13 runs to win the game.
The more these two stayed at the crease, it reduced Bangladesh’s chances to win this game. Kohi added one more century to take his hundred count in ODI cricket to 19. Rahane who quite ably played the second fiddle reached the fifty run mark in the 40th over. By the end of the batting powerplay, India were 217/2, needing 63 more runs in 10 overs.
Virat and Rahane added 55 runs between in 10 overs after 20 over mark.. While at it, Kohli brought up another half-century. Rahane, just hit a bounday in his stay at the crease during that time. But more importantly, he provided a solid company to Indian skipper.
After the 10th over, Bangladesh struck in quick succession dismissing Rohit and Dhawan. Kohli who came in to bat after Dhawan got out, survived a loud shout on the first ball he faced. He and Rahane though made sure that India did not lose further wickets.
Chsing 280 runs, Indian openers were slow off the mark. To Bangladesh’s credit, they bowled well and did not offer too many scoring opportunities to Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. By the end of 10 overs, India scored 38 runs without losing any wickets.
Rahim scored a century before he got out in the 50th over of Bangladesh inning. A captain’s knock. Although India were not too impressive with the ball for most of the inning, they restricted Bangladesh’s score to 279. For India, Ravindra Jadeja was their most economical bowler. But Mohammad Shami with 4 wickets in his 10 overs was India’s pick of the bowlers.
Bangladesh added 71 runs in the last 10 overs, with 46 runs being scored in the 5 over powerplay. In the 39th over of the game, Varun Aaron injured Rahim with an above waist full-toss. That being his second such delivery in this game, he was taken out of the attack by the umpires. Bangladesh were 208/3 by the end of 40 overs.
Indian bowlers could not manage to break the partnership between Haque and Rahim. The pair, thus far added 88 runs together. 41 of those runs were scored in the last 10 overs. Ravindra Jadeja was introduced in the 22nd over by Kohli. And he did well not to give away easy runs.
Bangladesh lost their second wicket in the 12th over as Dinesh Karthik stumped Mominul Haque on Ashwin’s bowling. Bangladesh were 49/2 then. Post that, the pair of Anamul Haque and Mushfiqur Rahim added 47 runs to Bangladesh total. While Ashwin bowled with discipline, Varun Aaron conceeded 39 runs in his 5 overs.
India won the toss and elected to bowl first. For this game, India did not include Cheteshwar Pujara in their playing XI. Ishwar Pandey too failed to make it to the team. Starting off slowly, Bangladesh managed to score 36 runs in the first 10 overs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar opened bowling for India. But it was his new ball partner, Mohammad Shami who dismissed Bangladesh’s opener Shamsur Rahman on 7.
India face Bangladesh in the second game of the Asia Cup on Wednesday. While India seem favourites to win this game, they are downplaying it. At least, that’s what one can make out from Dinesh Karthik’s “we won’t take Bangladesh easy” comment on Tuesday. Contrarily, Bangladesh’s Mashrafe Mortaza earlier stated that beating India is no longer an upset.
India have faced Bangladesh nine times in the Asia Cup. While Bangladesh beat India in the last game between these sides, India have the remaining eight games, Coming into this game, both the sides are without their key players. Shakib Al Hasan is missing out on this game as he is banned for the indecent behaviour. Tamim Iqbal is out due to an injury. Sri Lanka have beaten them 3-0 in the 3 match ODI series that got over on February 22, 2014. Hence, Bangladesh need to find form if they intend to beat India.
India too have not had a good run in ODIs recently. They were beaten by South Africa in December 2013 and their poor run form continued in New Zealand where they lost the 5 match ODI series 4-0. Coming into this series, India will be without MS Dhoni. Although his performances in the Test cricket are severely criticized, his is a valuable presence in the Indian team in the shorter formats of the game. In his absence, Virat Kohli will lead this relatively young Indian side.
For India, their bowling has been a major concern. And hence, Kohli will do well to extract strong performances from them. For Bangladesh, their key concern should be to restrict Indian batsmen.