IND vs BAN: Mahmudullah and his men must watch out for Rohit Sharma today
Sri Lanka may have given Bangladesh their biggest headache yet, dismissing Rohit Sharma for a duck in the opening match of the Nidahas Trophy
Rohit Sharma walks back after being dismissed for a duck v Sri Lanka on Tuesday. Pic/AFP
Sri Lanka may have given Bangladesh their biggest headache yet, dismissing Rohit Sharma for a duck in the opening match of the Nidahas Trophy. In a country where he loves to fill his boots, Rohit is unlikely to miss out too many times. This means that Mahmudullah and his men had better watch out.
On a pitch that was a touch on the slow side early on, and got better to bat on when dew took effect in the second half, Rohit was probably guilty of trusting the ball coming nicely onto bat a bit too early. At all times he is at his best when he takes a bit of time to get going and then opens up, and if he can do that against Bangladesh today, there is every reason to believe that a big score is just around the corner.
Shikhar Dhawan's 90 carried India to a fighting score in the first match, but the manner in which some of the other batsmen struggled to get going may be a cause for worry. Manish Pandey was often in two minds, understandable given that a couple of wickets had fallen very early in the piece, but Suresh Raina's adventurous swipe and Rishab Pant's repeated playing and missing hardly inspired confidence.
India were always going to use this tournament to give different players chances to acclimatise to playing at the highest level, but if they do so at the cost of balance and end up losing the second game, they will make it very difficult for themselves to continue experimenting.
Indian fans are known for their die-hard support, but not so much for their patience. The back-room staff will know that you can't win every game and that occasionally you have to risk losing in order to learn the most about your bench strength, but fans demand results.
And Bangladesh are no pushovers in this format. Having lost at home in a ODI tri-series that featured Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, and then being beaten by Sri Lanka in the Tests and Twenty20 Internationals that followed, Mahmudullah's men are desperate for success. And, it will be all that sweeter if it comes against India.
India chose not to train or have a net session ahead of the Bangladesh game, and this raised some eyebrows in the opposition camp. While it is unfair to suggest that India did not train because they did not rate their upcoming opponents, it is these little things that have given India-Bangladesh clashes that extra bit of needle in the recent past.
Mind games apart, India need to get on the right side of the result, and they will be thinking of nothing else, even if the opposition are worrying about being slighted.