Expecting Bangladesh to qualify for the Asia Cup finals may not be the best approach, considering their poor record against the top Asian trio. Yet, with the best team of Asia Cup, Sri Lanka already knocked out for the first time ever in Asia Cup history, Bangla tigers can draw inspiration and join hands to surprise, their easiest target India in Asia subcontinent.
With 9.52% success rate against India, Bangladesh can consider them their easiest target among test playing nations, after New Zealand against whom they have registered 5 wins in 21 games. 2 wins in 23 matches against India can boost their confidence as compared to their poor record against other Test playing nations.
They have gifted the first match to Pakistan. But, if they can learn quickly rather than just continuing to take the positives from every defeat as they have done for the last 25 years, India defeat is a possibility. Considering India’s current struggle the time is ripe to win their first match in Asia Cup against one of the test playing nations.
Shakib, the best player Bangladesh ever produced, is in top form despite losing captaincy. Tamim Iqbal is playing best cricket as opener, despite having faced difficulty in entering the team lead by Mushfiqur. With top order and bowlers in control at home condition, they just need to plan the right strategy to add more woes to the problems of Indian teams.
For dream entry to the final, they need to cross the Indian barrier. After that with Sri Lanka already showing no form, they may find it easy to defeat them and join Pak in the final. The big question is can they defeat India for third time in their ODI history!!
They have done it twice before. They may check the videos of the previous matches they won to gain the confidence that they lack as team despite having brilliant individual performers.
First Win Against India
They won the first match at Dhaka in 2004 by 15 runs during India-Bangladesh ODI series, despite scoring only 229 runs. Mortaza with 39-ball unbeaten 31 runs played a crucual role in helping them cross 200-runs.
Ganguly-led India team was bowled out for only 214 runs despite having Sehwag (0), Ganguly (22), Yuvraj (4), and Dhoni (12) in the batting line up. Mortaza’s spell of 36/2 in 9 overs with 2 maidens again proved crucial and he earned the Playyer of the match award for the special victory.
Second Win Against India
Second win was more special as they knocked out tournament favorite India in 2007 World Cup. Again Mortaza played a crucial role and was declared the Player of the Match award for his match winning performance of 4/38 in 9.3 overs with 2 maidens.
Electing to bat first India could only score 191 runs. Captain Dravid (14), Ganguly (66), Sehwag (9), Tendulkar (7), Yuvraj (47), Dhoni (0) could not take India to a safe total. Shakib failed to grab wicket, but Abdur Razzak grabbed 3/38 in 10 overs with 2 maidens and proved deadly for India.
Controlling their nerves with victory in sight Bangladesh chased the total in 48.3 overs with half-centuries from Tamim Iqbal (51), Mushfiqur (56*) and Shakib (53). Mortaza remained unbeaten on 8 runs.
Going by history, the match hardly needs any prediction. India should win easily. But, with the current sliding form of India, and good form of Bangladesh, the match looks even. Bangladesh has the ammunition to thwart India. Tamim and Shakib are in prime form. Mushfiqur is the captain now. Mortaza has just returned to the team and looks in good form. Abdur Razzaq is now the key bowler for Bangladesh.
With India being dependend on Kohli, Gambhir and Dhoni as Tendulkar, Asia Cup’s second best player is out of form, the match could be easy for Bangladesh if they take the trio without much impact.