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India came out of the three-match One-Day International (ODI) series against Bangladesh with a 2-0 series victory. The main talking point was the fact that India’s so-called ‘A’ team beat Bangladesh’s main team. There were many more highlights from the mini-tour. Shrikant Shankar relives some of the important highlights from India’s tour of Bangladesh 2014.
1. Small totals
From the five innings that were played, only once did the score go beyond the 200-run mark. There were three totals in the 100s and there was an innings of only 58. The shortened One-Day International (ODI) series between India and Bangladesh was not a run-fest, it was anything but. While the very first innings of the series saw India posting a competitive total of 272 for nine, the second highest score was less than 100 runs lower. There were only two half-centuries in the three-match ODI series. In the recent past, ODIs in the subcontinent have resulted in massive totals being scored. This series is definitely an aberration.
2. Stuart Binny’s rise
With figures of six for four, Binny entered ODI record books. Even if he does not achieve further glory in his international career, his name is etched in the annals of ODI cricket. Binny has India’s best bowling figures in an ODI innings and the ninth best overall. He helped India defend the lowest target (106) in ODI history with aplomb — India won by 47 runs. After such a performance, Binny is surely going to be part of India’s next ODI adventure.
3. Taskin Ahmed
In a dismal series, where Bangladesh lost to a second-string India side, there might not be many positives. But Bangladesh unearthed a real talent in Taskin Ahmed. The right-arm fast-medium bowler destroyed the Indian batting line-up in the second ODI on his debut. His figures were five wickets for 28 runs. He bowled at a lively pace and got the ball to seam and swing. He got a further two more wickets in the third ODI, but the match ended in a no result due to rain.
4. Persistent rain
Talking about rain brings us to… well rain! Each and every match in the three-match ODI series was affected by persistent rain. Both the first and second ODI had a Duckworth-Lewis (D/L) result. In the third ODI, one did not even see an innings being completed and that was due to persistent rain. One does have to state that the ground staff were brilliant throughout the series. The ground was usually ready for play within minutes after the rain had stopped. But such weather conditions played a large part in the lack of big runs, as the swing and seam bowlers benefited.
5. Cheteshwar Pujara’s mental toughness in the third match
Cheteshwar Pujara did not come out with flying colours after the ODI series. This was seen as the perfect opportunity for him to make inroads into the Indian ODI side. But he only scored a total of 38 runs from the three matches. Out of that total, 27 runs came in the third ODI. Pujara played out 63 deliveries in his innings. He grinded it out when others did not last that long. Binny was the next best in terms of deliveries faced with 36 and Suresh Raina after that with 25. While Pujara did not get the runs [not many actually did in the series], he did show his mental toughness. His average and strike-rate have not been bettered to a great extent from the series as well.
(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at CricketCountry.com. Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)
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