Saturday, March 17, 2007

Thoughts on upcoming India Bangladesh match

India play Bangladesh after a long gap; 2 years and 3 months to be reasonably precise. The second last time they played a match India ended up on the losing side. Virtually everybody in this world, including people who know nothing of cricket, remembers that day for a far heavier reason. It was Boxing Day of 2004 when the killer Tsunami struck on the east facing coasts of many South Asian countries extinguishing hundreds of thousands of lives.

Two of the badly affected countries, India and Sri Lanka are group B rivals of Bangladesh this World Cup. ICC associate member Malaysia and neighbours Indonesia were the worst hit by the calamity. It is needless to repeat stuff that people know too well but the thought of so many cricketing nations tied by a second common thread of grief makes it resurface spontaneouly.

Cricinfo's enchanter-in-chief Siddharth Vaidyanathan explores a few areas of the Indian game that Bangladesh will look to assault. One of them can be an ambush with their left arm bowlers. Siddharth observes:

India are likely to face a slew of left-arm spinners in that (middle overs) period, with Mohammad Rafique's darts complemented by Abdur Razzak's loop and Saqibul's accuracy. Razzak and Saqibul arrive with economy-rates of 3.5 and 3.7 respectively and India will need to find innovative ways to manoeuvre the ball around with the field spread.

Indeed Habibul Bashar and Shahriyar Nafees hold the key to Bangla doing well in the match. Indians are in pretty decent nick but Bangladesh are at the top of their game with a warm up win over the Ashes beating (Oz and now England) Kiwis. And Mortaza, if he knows anything about latching on to good form, will be a handful for the openers.

Talking of left-arm menace, ace cricket writer Mukul Kesavan was really upset about certain aspects of the Indian think tank's vision around six months back and strung his grievances together in a piece that can make you chuckle when Indian cricket is doing well. The post (a rant really) is dated but nevertheless enjoyable for his delicious take on left handers.

My left-handed left hand says it looks forward to meeting you, Mukul.

[cross posted on Desicritics]

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