When India take on Bangladesh in the second T20I of the series at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot on Thursday, it will be against a confident visiting team who chased down India’s target of 149 in New Delhi with relative ease.
It was Bangladesh’s first win over India in T20Is, and the hosts need to come up with a much-improved performance against the Bangla Tigers, who are undoubtedly purring at the moment. While India need to improve in all departments, it is the batting line-up that needs to ensure that India get to a competitive score if they are batting first. Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul all need to fire.
Even in the bowling department, barring Yuzvendra Chahal, the likes of Soumya Sarkar and Mushfiqur Rahim were picking the other bowlers with ease. Khaleel Ahmed was hit for 18 runs in the penultimate over by Rahim, which included four consecutive boundaries, to heavily swing the match in Bangladesh’s favour. Krunal Pandya, who dropped a sitter near the boundary which would have dismissed Rahim could not watch.
Chahal, on his part is confident. "There is no pressure. You know there are three matches and it's a bilateral series, not a knockout format," said the leg-spinner on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, for the visitors, it would be all about continuing with the performance they put up in the opening game amid conditions which were far from ideal for a cricket match.
The Bangladesh bowlers, particularly the spinners, kept the Indian batters in check at all times and Mahmudullah would hope they do the same in Rajkot. In batting, Soumya Sarkar and Mohammad Naim both came out with decent performances and built the foundation for Mushfiqur to unleash himself in the latter stage of the game.
"We have come here to compete in each and every game. As long as you are playing consistent cricket and improving in each game -- that is our main goal. After winning this game, we are surely looking forward to winning another game; hopefully, the next game," said Mushfiqur after the first game emphasizing on how the visitors are hoping to clinch a series win.
There has been something about the playing conditions and uncertainty about matches going forward so far in this series, however. If the issue in Delhi was pollution, In Rajkot, cyclone ‘Maha’ is expected to hit the city on Wednesday, and it is possible that its impact is felt till right before the match is scheduled to be played.
However, official weather sources have stated that the wind speeds might reduce by Thursday, in turn allowing the match to take place. Regardless, a storm will certainly be brewing on the pitch as the hosts look to peg back the visitors.
India: Rohit Sharma(c), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant(wk), Washington Sundar, Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Rahul Chahar, Deepak Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Shivam Dube, Shardul Thakur
Bangladesh: Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Naim, Mahmudullah (c), Afif Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain, Aminul Islam, Liton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Arafat Sunny, Al-Amin Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Shaiful Islam, Abu Haider Rony, Mohammad Mithun, Taijul Islam