Batting led by Shikhar Dhawan has fired all cylinders in the World Cup so far © Getty Images
Batting led by Shikhar Dhawan has fired all cylinders in the World Cup so far © Getty Images

India will back their strengths as they head into the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Quarter-Final against Bangladesh at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The Group Stage has given them a complete workout and the team seems to be in a calm mood. Nishad Pai Vaidya picks some key points for India ahead of the big game against Bangladesh. READ:  India vs Bangladesh ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, Quarter-Final 2: Preview

India’s six consecutive victories in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 group stage reflect dominance and great consistency. However, the great thing for India is that each department has been tested at various points, which holds them in good stead ahead of their quarterfinal against Bangladesh. The victory against Zimbabwe in particular was a good workout as it pushed India to an extent and put them under pressure. MS Dhoni would take a fairly confident unit into the quarter-final against Bangladesh at the MCG. READ:  Bangladesh ‘March’ towards Quarter-Final against India in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

Batting in good shape: India’s batting has been in good form through the tournament. One of the concerns was that the middle order had not been tested. However, Suresh Raina and Dhoni had to pull India out of the mess against Zimbabwe. Raina had a good hit earlier in the tournament, when he smashed 76 against Pakistan in the first game. The ton against Zimbabwe may have come in an inconsequential game, but it helped India avoid a huge embarrassment. Dhoni’s return to form too is a good sign. For some time now the Indian captain has not looked himself. Against the West Indies, his calm knock helped India sail through and in the game against Zimbabwe he was back to his best. Ravindra Jadeja remains the only one who hasn’t been tested as such as he hasn’t had enough time to bat in the middle. READ: India extend training session ahead of Quarter-Final 2 against Bangladesh in ICC

Rohit Sharma needs to fire: Rohit Sharma has had a relatively quiet World Cup. He has had two significant knocks, coming against the United Arab Emirates and Ireland. The runs may not have come in big numbers, but the team management seems to think that Rohit is in good touch. It is time for Rohit to come good in the tournament. The quarter-final is his chance to score big at the MCG and India need him to provide a good start in the company of Shikhar Dhawan. READ: India must guard against complacency moving ahead in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

Spinners in focus: In the last game, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja conceded 146 runs for a solitary wicket in the 20 overs they bowled. That was a different setting as it came at Eden Park, an arena which has very short boundaries. The MCG is a big ground and that would help both the spinners. It would encourage them to toss it up and invite the batsman. Ashwin in particular will have a lot of say as he has been in good touch. They performed well against South Africa at this venue and would want to carry that forward. In the nets, Raina bowled his off-spin quite a bit, which indicated that Dhoni may consider him tomorrow, given the fact that Bangladesh have numerous left-handers in the side. READ: Indian turn-up for optional practice ahead of quarter-final against Bangladesh

Fast bowling tempo: India have the fast-bowling tempo going into the game. In the Group Stage, they were impressive and were the crucial factor in India’s turnaround after the disappointing tri-series. Even when the spinners got hit around at Eden Park, the fast bowlers were on the money. Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami are a good pair to start proceedings, with Mohit Sharma maintaining the pressure. India need them to continue their form into the game against Bangladesh. READ: “Bangladesh’s 2007 World Cup win over India has no relevance now”

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_45)