India and Bangladesh have developed a strong rivalry both on and off the field. © Getty Images
India and Bangladesh have developed a strong rivalry both on and off the field. © Getty Images

India will face Bangladesh at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday’s Group 2 clash of the T20 World Cup 2016. After bagging their first win of the competition against Pakistan in their second match, India’s focus will be on getting a big win against Bangladesh, and thereby improving their net run-rate. Bangladesh, on the contrary, have not been able to capitalize on the momentum that they gained in the Round 1 of the tournament. They lost their first match against Pakistan and were left startled when Taskin Ahmed and Arafat Sunny were suspended by the ICC due to an illegal bowling action. They never really recovered from that setback and lost to Australia in their second game as well. Although, they tried their best with what they had, in-form opener Tamim Iqbal’s absence that day turned out to be a misfortune. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Bangladesh , Live Score, 25th T20 Match, Super 10 Group 2, ICC T20 World Cup 2016

When India meet Bangladesh on Wednesday, viewers will sit up and take notice. The reasons behind that, perhaps, could be: 1.) The way Bangladesh displayed a fiery performance against India of late and 2.) The way the media and the fans from both the countries reacted to the result of the matches. As a matter of fact, the buildups have been full of counter-attacks. ALSO READ: India vs Bangladesh, T20 World Cup 2016, Match No.25 at Bengaluru: Virat Kohli vs Mustafizur Rahman and other key battles

It all began when India were stormed out of the World Cup 2007 by the Bangladeshi tigers who chased down 192 runs in a Group Stage encounter against the Men in Blue. Tamim Iqbal’s brilliant fifty at the top of the order turned the tide in favour of the Bangladeshis, after a young Mashrafe Mortaza’s impressive bowling figures of 4 for 38 runs in the first innings. Thus, the victory did world of good to their confidence. Nonetheless, what would follow 5 to 6 years down the line popularised cricket even more in Bangladesh. ALSO READ: India vs Bangladesh, T20 World Cup 2016 Match 25 at Bengaluru, Preview: India eye victory by huge margin

The rivalry between the two countries has flared up over the last few months though. From the popular Mauka Mauka ads to viral Photoshop visuals, fans of both teams always have had banter. When India faced the Bangladeshi tigers in their own backyard, the rivalry ignited even more. The ‘Bachche Ab Bachche Nahi Rahein!’ad paid off as India were completely outdone by Mustafizur Rahman, a young pacer on his debut series picking up 5 wickets in the first match and 6 in the second. Bangladesh eventually won the series 2-1 at home and a morphed image displaying half-shaved head of Indian cricketers was published in a Bangladeshi daily with the caption saying, ‘Mustafizur Cutters’. Among the news was also an incident where MS Dhoni had collided with Mustafizur while taking a run, and Bangladesh, perhaps, became the only country where the Indian Captain was not admired anymore. ALSO READ: T20 World Cup 2016: Taskin Ahmed’s suspension upheld by judicial commissioner

More recently, when India were to play Bangladesh in the finals of the Asia Cup 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh fans came out with an even more shameful morphed image of their bowler Taskin Ahmed holding Dhoni’s severed head. India won the final by 8 wickets, thanks to a superb partnership between Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli, and Dhoni’s finishing touch to give India its 6th Asia Cup. The win was in itself the answer for all the drama that transpired outside the field, on social media. There were a couple of counter images as well from the Indian fans though. ALSO READ: T20 World Cup 2016: Virat Kohli key player for India, but cannot take other batsmen lightly, says Shakib Al Hasan

It will be a high-octane match when the two sides battle it out in Bengaluru. However, the Bangladesh team is struggling to cope up with the losses, but they have backed their players despite being bogged down. Against India, they cannot afford to ponder upon what is already a past now, as they quickly need to get over Taskin-Sunny suspension and look to fight back with what they have left in their armoury. The match, still, is much more than just a game. It promises to be a cracker of a contest, as both teams do not like losing to each other.

(Karan Dewan, a reporter with CricketCountry, loves following and playing sports. He is a Team India fan and loves winning. Follow him on his twitter handle @karan13dewan.)