There is nothing that is for granted in any cricket match, not least in a limited-overs contest. While India are overwhelming favorites to run away with the second semi-final of the ICC Champions Trophy against Bangladesh at Edgbaston on Thursday, things can fall apart in ways that no one envisages. One dropped catch, a wrong umpiring decision or even a shower can change the entire complexion of any match. So when India meet their neighbours in a sub-continental face-off, they will have to win from the beginning to the end.
Little seems wrong with India after the match with South Africa. They bowled exactly and fielded like a dream. While the Proteas didn't really leave a challenge for the Indian batsmen, especially Shikhar Dhawan and skipper Virat Kohli, had quite a hit in the middle.
But therein lies the real problem. India have come good in two one-sided matches, against Pakistan and South Africa, but the only time they were challenged, by Sri Lanka, they fell to a big loss.
So if Bangladesh can provide a challenge, which is never out of the equation, it will be interesting to see how India reacts.
Kohli had said after the Sri Lanka match that he had read the riot act to the team and it worked like magic against South Africa. Hopefully the words are still fresh enough.
As for Bangladesh, they can play with abandon, since no one expects them to win. But in that, they may find a formula to advance - the philosophy to nothing to lose and everything to gain.
India: Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Dinesh Karthik, Mohammed Shami.
Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Soumya Sarkar, Sabbir Rahaman, Mahmudullah Riyadh, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahaman, Taskin Ahmed, Mehedi Hossain Miraz, Mossadek Hossain, Sunzamul Islam, Shafiul Islam.
(With inputs from PTI)
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