ICC : After missing the first Champions Trophy warm-up game against New Zealand, Rohit Sharma will be aiming to get some batting practice in the second and final tie when India take on Bangladesh before their tournament opener against Pakistan on June 4. Rohit, who led the Mumbai Indians to victory in the Indian Premier League, had batted mid-order in the T20 tournament. So, against Bangladesh on Tuesday, Rohit will be back in his familiar opening position, hoping to get some practice before the start of the tournament. He had missed the first tie due to some personal commitments and arrived late in London.
After a convincing 45-run victory against New Zealand in a rain-curtailed opening warm-up match, Virat Kohli will pray that his batsmen get some more game time than the 26 overs they got the other day.
It will be like a completion of cycle for Rohit, whose limited overs career was transformed by Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s inspired decision to promote him up the order during India’s successful Champions Trophy campaign in 2013. One of the biggest reasons for India’s success was the Rohit-Shikhar Dhawan duo. They are again back to face the new ball in conditions pretty familiar to the one they had encountered four years back. With Ajinkya Rahane failing as an opener in the first warm-up game, it’s unlikely the management will entertain thoughts of changing the opening combination.
Kohli, after a well-compiled half-century in the first game, would prefer another good hit out there in the middle along with Dhoni, who looked impressive during his brief stint.
It is still not clear if Yuvraj Singh, recovering from a bout of viral fever will be available or not.
Bangladesh has been a very decent side in 50-overs cricket. A testimony to that was their quarterfinal finish during the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. The pace quartet of Mustafizur Rahaman, Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed and skipper Mashrafe Mortaza can prove to be more than a handful for any opposition on a given day.
India’s bowling attack looked good against the Kiwis as they bowled them out for 189. There are some ‘happy problems’ for skipper Kohli, who has three potent new ball options in Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami to choose from. The bulk of the death overs will be taken care by yorker specialist Jasprit Bumrah. The other issue that needs addressing is who will lead the spin attack. Ravindra Jadeja’s all-round abilities in the shorter format are more recognised than Ravichandran Ashwin, who has been a powerhouse performer in Test cricket.
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