Venue – Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Mirpur
Date: Wednesday, December 7
India is in Bangladesh for a quick tour, with three ODIs followed by two Test matches later this month. The first ODI was sensational, with Bangladesh stunning India and snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.
The match started off simple enough for India as they posed 186 from 41.2 overs after being put into bat by Bangladesh. The Indian bowlers then got to work, taking wickets at a solid pace and reducing Bangladesh to 136 for 9 in the 40th over. With only one wicket to win and 40 runs to give, India was at odds to win. That was when Mehidy Hasan Miraz took over the game, smashing 38 runs from 39 balls and powering his country over the line.
The result has left India reeling, but it was a result that could have been so much different had KL Rahul not dropped Mehidy with the hosts still needing 32 runs to win. That drop energized the crowd, and as Bangladesh continued to pile on the runs, they reached a fever pitch that helped push their heroes over the line.
The star of the show on the bowling side for Bangladesh was Shakib Al Hasan. He took five wickets in the innings, running through the top of the Indian order, taking apart a later India partnership that was starting to gain momentum, then taking two more wickets to really slow down any India residence at the bottom of their batting order. Al Hasan is in great form, and he is 5/2 to be the top home team bowler again in the second ODI, which has to be worth a bet. He is also 10/1 to be Man of the Match, and if Bangladesh is to win this, then he will be a key figure in their victory.
India just has to get better production from the top of its order in these matches. Shikhar Dhawan went for 7 in another innings where his wicket was lost far too cheaply. Rohit Sharma hit a solid 27, but even that felt like a low total, given how good his start was before he was bowled when just getting into his stride. Virat Kohli was the second wicket to fall without reaching double figures as he went for just 9. All in all, India was 49/3 in the 11th over, and while the middle order recovered, the openers can’t seem to set a platform in this India side consistently.
There are some tough calls ahead for this India side, just ten months before the ODI World Cup. Having too many good players in the pool can sometimes be an issue, and youngsters like Rahul Tripathi and Rajat Patidar must be given their chances. It won’t happen here, but it is something to keep an eye on moving forwards.
Bangladesh needed a 51-run stand to win the first match. I don’t think that they will get that kind of production again and expect India to win and take this series down to the final match.