Tri-Series: Indian bowlers eye consistency against Bangladesh, target final

Mar 14, 2018, 16:21 IST | Anand Vasu

Indian bowling department aim for discipline and accuracy against Bangladesh today

India pacer Shardul Thakur (second from left) celebrates the wicket of SL’s Dushmantha Chameera with teammates on Monday. Pic/AFP
India pacer Shardul Thakur (second from left) celebrates the wicket of SL’s Dushmantha Chameera with teammates on Monday. Pic/AFP

India may have wobbled in their chase of 153 against Sri Lanka, but when they did get across the line it was control, poise and in the end some ease on Monday. Bangladesh, in contrast floundered completely in their first game, only to roar back in the second, chasing 215 with typically unpredictable panache.

Bangladesh's win against Sri Lanka opened up the tournament and showed that they had it in them to play high-quality Twenty20 cricket, but they continue to be defeated in their search for consistency. And, when Mahmudullah's team take on India today, they will not have it easy. After all, Sri Lanka's bowlers suffered an off day, being too predictable in the second half of the innings, allowing Mushfiqur Rahim to string together a sequence of adventurous and aggressive shots to chase down a big score.

India's bowlers, with the possible exception of Jaydev Unadkat, who is yet to hit his straps in this tournament, have been disciplined and accurate. Washington Sundar, 18, off-spinner, has been particularly impressive, going for only six runs per overs in the 12 he has sent down, despite bowling in the Powerplay. Yuzvendra Chahal has been as dangerous as ever, keeping the runs down while picking up wickets.

Shardul Thakur, who has often lamented the lack of opportunities at the highest level, made it count on Monday picking up 4-27 and with it, the Man of the Match award. "As I said before, I love challenges. I am taking it as a challenge. If other senior bowlers are missing from the team, then I have to step up," said Thakur.

"I have done this previously for other teams that I have played for. I have come in place of Zaheer Khan, Dhawal Kulkarni and Ajit Agarkar while playing for Mumbai. I had to step up in that role. When senior bowlers are rested, I have to step up and fill that role to lead the pace attack."

Thakur won the respect of his opponents, especially for the manner in which he bowled the knuckle ball, a variation that is fast becoming fashionable in Twenty20 cricket.

"The most important thing is that he bowls a really good slower one, like with his knuckle ball. That's the main reason for his success," said Thisara Perera, Sri Lanka's captain. "I also got out to the knuckle ball. I have seen it before, but he has bowled it really well in this tournament."

It's over to Bangladesh now, and a test of whether they can overcome India's accurate spin twins and industrious variations of pace.

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