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India prepare to take on Bangladesh in the second One-Day International (ODI) on June 17, 2014, aiming for a series win with a match to spare. Suresh Raina’s side came out trumps in the first ODI of the three-match series. Bangladesh will be desperate to avoid a home loss against a second-string Indian side. Shrikant Shankar highlights the key battles that could affect the outcome of the match.
Ajinkya Rahane vs Abdur Razzak
Ajinkya Rahane was the Player of the Match in the first ODI as he scored an invaluable 64 off 70 deliveries. The right-handed opener was involved in a 99-un stand with Robin Uthappa for the first wicket. After the fall of Uthappa and Cheteshwar Pujara’s wickets in quick succession, Rahane guided India to get closer to the revised target. He has the ability and technique to succeed in most conditions and proved to be a very good player of spin on a track that began to turn square after the long rain delay.
Abdur Razzak is part of a long list of left-arm spinners produced by Bangladesh. He is a veteran of 151 ODIs and has taken 206 wickets. He does not get the ball to turn much, but manages to spin it marginally away from the right-handers. Rahane’s test will be to counter this for a second time in as many matches.
Ambati Rayudu vs Mahmudullah
Ambati Rayudu is getting an extended run with the Indian side and will be looking to keep it going for as long as possible. In 11 ODIs, he has scored 259 runs at an average of 43.16. he also has two fifties. Rayudu is not certain of a spot in the Indian quad for the ICC World Cup 2015 and has to make significant contributions whenever he gets a chance. He remained unbeaten on 16 to guide India to their win in the first ODI. While batting in the middle-order, he would face various spinners. While the battles against Shakib Al Hasan and Razzak are important, the others cannot be dealt with lightly.
Right-arm off-spinner Mahmudullah played his 100th ODI the previous match and has the experience to get some crucial breakthroughs. Rayudu seems rash at times and needs to play better against the not-so-front-line bowlers.
Wriddhiman Saha vs Anamul Haque
Wriddhiman Saha was not required to bat in the first ODI as India won by seven wickets. He has earned his spot in the Indian team by merit as is the right understudy for Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He is already known to be technically very good with the gloves and proved his batting credentials in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014. This is the only key battle that is not a direct head-to-head. Anamul Haque is Bangladesh’s second-choice wicketkeeper after captain Mushfiqur Rahim. He has a good record after playing 17 ODIs with two centuries and one half-century. While opening the innings, Anamul gave Bangladesh the positive momentum despite the loss of two quick wickets. He scored 44 off 60 deliveries and has been one of Bangladesh’s better players in 2014.
Akshar Patel vs Mominul Haque
Akshar Patel had a phenomenal IPL 2014 with the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). With bowlers proving expensive, the left-arm spinner was more economical. But he was on the expensive side on his ODI debut for India giving away 59 runs in his 10 overs. He would take comfort in the fact that he did take his maiden wicket during the match. Mominul Haque is a top-order batsman, but not in the best of form. A diminutive figure, but Mominul is a young batsman and would look to target the newcomer. Akshar would need to get a few variations in his bowling armoury as Mominul is left-handed and could easily work away the ones that turn into him.
Parvez Rasool vs Ziaur Rahman
The first player to represent India from Jammu and Kashmir, Parvez Rasool was the most expensive bowler in the first ODI, but took two crucial wickets. He is also in the fringes of the Indian team, so, would look to get more wickets to impress the selectors. Playing in sub-continental conditions could always result in the bowler being expensive, but it is the wicket-taking ability which is of importance.
Rasool is also a good batsman lower down the order and if he can contribute consistently in both disciplines, then it is well and good for India. Similar like Rasool, Bangladesh have Ziaur Rahman, who is a bowling all-rounder. He has a good strike-rate with the bat but his wicket-taking ability is a concern. He will be expected to bowl a few overs in the second ODI and needs to get some breakthroughs.
Note: Changes in both team’s line-ups could occur and some of the above mentioned players may not play in the match. But if they all do play, then it should be a fascinating contest as India go for the series win and Bangladesh try to avoid it.
(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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