Suresh Raina © Getty Images
With home team Bangladesh about to lock horns against a second-string Indian side, Bharath Ramaraj looks at some key players who can touch compelling peaks in the One-Day International (ODI) series.
India are going to play Bangladesh in a three-match One-Day International (ODI) series. The first ODI will be played on June 15, 2014. While the Indian side is without the likes of their regular captain and vice-captain MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli, it gives an excellent opportunity to others to make most of it. Let’s take a look at some of the key players who will look to open another glorious chapter in their respective careers.
Suresh Raina: Raina has all the shots in his armour to take India to tall scores. He can even clout the best in the business over the mid-wicket region with ease. The tracks in Bangladesh also suit his style of batting. In absence of star players, the explosive batsman in the shorter forms of the game was made the captain of the setup. It would be though, interesting to see how he handles the challenge of captaining a national team.
Robin Uthappa: In the recently-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) 7, Uthappa was in fine form. In a blur, the ball was whistling past bemused fielders to the boundary boards. The violent force with which he pummeled bowlers into submission has helped him to make a comeback into the Indian unit. Uthappa has tinkered with his technique and that resulted in him doing well in the Ranji Trophy 2013-14 as well. He will be looking to show his wares during the short tour of Bangladesh.
Cheteshwar Pujara: Despite having a good List A record, Pujara has been labeled as a Test match batsman. He has a wide range of stokes and when needed, can easily play the anchor role to perfection. The series against Bangladesh is a golden opportunity for the treasured gem of Indian batting line-up to throw his hat into the ring for a place in India’s squad for the ICC 2015 World Cup.
Umesh Yadav: The pacer, Yadav has all the required skills to succeed at the highest level. He has had problems with fitness, but was still expected to be picked for the tour of England. However, it wasn’t to be. He has to leave the disappointment of not being picked for the tour of Old Blighty, and look to perform well in Bangladesh. Yadav can bowl at slithery speed and give batsmen a few headaches. He also pitches it up and looks for swing with the new ball. Yadav doesn’t have a good record in ODIs. But this is his chance to demonstrate to the selectors that he can succeed in the ODI format.
Ajinkya Rahane: Rahane has been a quiet achiever for India. He let the bat to do the talking during India’s tour of South Africa and New Zealand. Rahane on his day can also play an attractive brand of cricket. The series against Bangladesh offers him a chance to show to the selectors that he can become a regular member of India’s ODI squad.#
Shakib Al Hasan © AFP
Tamim Iqbal: Tamim, Bangladesh’s premier batsman has struggled for runs this year. But one can expect him to come back to form sooner rather than later. There is no question about his skills as a batsman. He just needs to spend sometime in the middle, before he gets going. Bangladesh certainly need him to pass the trial by fire soon.
Musfiqur Rahim: Bangladesh’s skipper and wicketkeeper-batsman, Rahim has on many occasions shown the ability to come good when his country is in a bit of trouble. The gist of it can be seen by the way he came to the party in the Asia Cup 2014 match against India at Fatullah. Musfiqur Rahim can frustrate opposition bowlers by playing those cheeky shots.
Shakib Al Hasan: Shakib is arguably the best player to have played for Bangladesh. The southpaw has been a consistent performer for Bangladesh over the years. He can change gears as and when required. Shakib can also take wickets at regular intervals with slow left-arm orthodox. The series against India gives opportunity for the all-rounder to conquer more peaks.
Nasir Hossain: The 22-year-old Hossain can bat according to the situation of the game. He can play powerful shots and if needed, milk the bowling. Hossain can also bowl useful off-spin. He already has a century to his name in ODIs and that came against Pakistan. In the series against India, he will look to continue his good form. It has to be remembered that he averages in the high 30s and that is good at least by Bangladesh’s standards.
(Bharath Ramaraj, an MBA in marketing, eats, drinks and sleeps cricket. He has played at school and college-level, and now channelises his passion for the game by writing about it)