Bangladesh Resurgence Poses Questions Of India
Bangladesh secured their Test status after defeating Pakistan at the 1999 World Cup, but it took them another 15 years and 320 days to beat the same Asian giant again.
With Bangladesh winning the first two games of the three-match series and taking an unassailable 2-0 series lead this puts a lot of pressure on the Indian national team selectors ahead of their meeting on 26th April.
Bangladesh have made a huge statement by playing some fearless cricket at home. Most of their batsmen are looking in good touch. Everything is looking settled in the Bangladeshi camp. Their batsman posted a score of above 300 runs when they batted first in the first game and bowled out the opposition for under 250 when they bowled first in the second game.
The trio of Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim are very handy at the top of the order. Their batting has also got plenty of depth now with Shakib Al Hasan, Nasir Hosain and Mashrafe Mortaza capable of finishing the innings on a high note.
Their fast bowlers have also came good for them in recent times with Taskin Ahmed and Rubel Hossain consistently hitting the 140 kph mark. Before the start of the series against Pakistan the stand-in captian of Bangladesh, Shakib, had said that their team will start the series as favourites to win. They proved that their pre-assumption was not false.
Most of the Indian senior players are busy now playing in the Indian Premier League after their return from four months tour of Australia which also included the ICC Cricket World Cup.
There is not much time between the end of the IPL and the start of the tour of Bangladesh which is commencing just after the IPL.
It will be a tough task for the players to play back-to-back series. MS Dhoni has raised his concerns several times over India playing continuous cricket which affects team performance. Therefore, we can say it is very unlikely that the senior players will agree to play the series in Bangladesh.
This can also open the door to international cricket for the likes of Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Sanju Samson, Sandeep Sharma and many others who have caught the attention of the audience by their IPL and domestic performances.
It could also see some senior cricketers who were not getting an opportunity return. Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh, Yusuf Pathan and Yuvraj Singh may fancy their chances of getting selected for the tour.
Now with Bangladesh putting some good performances together and threatening team India with their current form, the selectors need to cover all bases and pick a strong enough team to win.
Bangladesh showed their disappointment when India did not send their strongest team for the series last year which also resulted in some issues with broadcasters.
When these two teams played the bilateral series last year, India won the series 2-0 but it was Bangladesh who won the hearts of millions of cricket fans by bundling out India cheaply in two games.
The Indian selectors will have to make important decisions when selecting the touring squad. Will they bank again on the experienced campaigners or give the opportunity to the youngsters who have done well in the IPL?
We will wait and watch, but the team that is selected will reflect the mindset of the Indian selectors.
© Cricket World 2015