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India tour of Bangladesh 2014: Hosts have genuine chance of winning with Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Tamim Iqbal

clockwise: Shakib al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal and skipper Mushfiqur Rahim form the backbone of Bangladesh © AFP/ Getty Images
clockwise: Shakib al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal and skipper Mushfiqur Rahim form the backbone of Bangladesh © AFP/ Getty Images

Bangladesh announced their squad for the three-match ODI series against India on June 5, 2014. There are only two uncapped players as the rest form a familiar unit. The likes of Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Tamim Iqbal give Bangladesh a realistic chance of upsetting an under-strength Indian side. Shrikant Shankar writes that India should not underestimate the task at hand.

India’s 2014 tour of Bangladesh was announced quite quickly and added another cricketing even between the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 and the long tour of England. It is only a three-match One Day International (ODI) series and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) were never going to announce a full-fledged squad. The final 15 that were chosen comprised of players mostly in the fringes of the main squad for ODIs.

 

Three players have yet to make their debuts for India while many are still finding their feet at the international level and a few have returned after a long hiatus, away from the national team. This gives Bangladesh a genuine chance of upsetting India to win the series. The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) announced their 15-member squad for the three-match ODI series on June 6, 2014. Only two players have been included who have not played for the national side. The rest throw up a familiar unit for Bangladesh.

They are led by the combative Mushfiqur Rahim. The wicketkeeper-batsman is a live-wire behind the wickets and a confident hitter of the cricket ball. He has a good record against India in upsets and will be looking to win Bangladesh their first series against India.

Below is a comparison between Mushfiqur Rahim’s ODI batting figures against India and overall:

M R Ave SR 50s 100s HS
vs India 11 351 43.87 70.23 1 1 117
Overall 129 2,780 28.08 77.82 14 2 117

All figures accurate as of June 6, 2014.

We can clearly see that Mushfiqur has a better record against India compared to his overall numbers.

Shakib Al Hasan is Bangladesh’s best current player and arguably their best ever. He is a genuine all-rounder who contributes immensely with both bat and ball. One can always expect him to contribute irrespective of Bangladesh’s results. Below is a comparison between Shakib Al Hasan’s ODI batting figures against India and overall:

M R Ave SR 50s 100s HS
vs India 8 304 38 87.35 4 0 85
Overall 133 3,779 34.99 78.77 25 5 134*

Bowling figures:

M W Ave Eco BBI
vs India 8 7 57.57 5.3 4 for 16
Overall 133 165 29.6 4.3 2 for 43

All figures accurate as of June 6, 2014.

While Shakib has a better batting record against India in ODIs, his bowling figures suggest that he takes a pasting on a number of occassions. He bats in the middle-order and bowls the middle-overs. His value to the Bangladesh team is paramount. He would be looking to better his bowling figures against the current world champions.

And then there is Tamim Iqbal. The flashy left-handed batsman will always be remembered by Indian fans for his heroics against their team in the ICC World Cup 2007. His half-century that day effectively knocked India out of the World Cup. He also has a good record against India apart from that knock. Below is a comparison between Tamim Iqbal’s ODI batting figures against India and overall:

M R Ave SR 50s 100s HS
vs India 10 397 39.7 86.3 5 0 70
Overall 124 3,702 30.09 78.38 25 4 154

All figures accurate as of June 6, 2014.

Like the two players above, Tamim also has a better record against India when compared with his overall statistics. The opening batsman is still to score his first century against India and this series provides him the best chance to do so. Going back to that World Cup Group Stage match in 2007 at Port of Spain, Tamim’s half-century was followed by fifties from both Mushfiqur and Shakib. The trio were heavily involved in India’s most embarrassing and greatest upset loss in ODIs.

While India only improved from there winning the ICC World T20 2007 and ICC World Cup 2011 along with becoming World No 1 in Tests, Bangladesh have faced a mixed seven years. There have been upsets every now and then, but nothing that suggests they have improved and taken the next step. This series against an under-strength Indian side provides Bangladesh a chance to win not only a match, but also a series for the first time. If that happens, people would say it was against a depleted India. But records will show a victory against India in an ODI series. For that to occur, Mushfiqur, Shakib and Tamim will have to step up and play their best.

(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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