Birmingham, June 14 (IANS) Defending champions India will aim to live up to their tag of title contenders and dominate Bangladesh in the second semi-final of the Champions Trophy cricket tournament here on Thursday.
Bangladesh rode on a record partnership between Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmadullah to beat New Zealand by five wickets in their last match in Group A.
The South Asians had suffered a top order collapse, losing four wickets by the 12th over before Shakib and Mahmadullah got together to add 224 runs between them — Bangladesh’s highest partnership in One-Day Internationals (ODI).
Apart from scoring a brilliant century, Shakib also bowled economically. Mahmudallah will also look to add strength to the side’s batting while openers Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar will have to give the team a good start against India.
Pacer Mustafizur Rahman will be the key in the Bangladesh bowling line-up. He has featured in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and should have some idea of the strengths and weaknesses of the Indian batsmen.
The Bangladesh bowling line-up featuring the likes of pacers Taskin Ahmed, Rubel Hossain and Mashrafe Mortaza alongside spinners Shakib and Mosaddek Hossain will aim to test the Indian batsman with their pace and variation.
Meanwhile India, led by skipper Virat Kohli will look to play ruthlessly and dominate Bangladesh right from the start.
The Indian batting has done well in most of their group matches and will aim to continue their good form.
Openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have done well so far and could pose all sorts of problems for the Bangladesh bolwers. Dhawan is the top scorer of the tournament with 271 runs in three matches.
Besides the openers, Kohli, Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni have been in good nick and have the capability to snatch the match away from Bangladesh on their own with individual performances.
The Indian bowling department is also balanced with frontline pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Umesh Yadav alongside spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Medium-pacer Hardik Pandya will also look to provide breakthroughs in the middle-overs.
Kohli may look to experiment in the bowling department against Bangladesh, having benched Yadav to include Ashwin in their last Group B match against South Africa.
Since 2007, India have met Bangladesh seven times in ICC events. India lead the head-to-head battle 6-1 with Bangladesh having defeated India the last time in 2007.
India: Virat Kohli (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik.
Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (captain), Imrul Kayes, Mahmudullah, Mehedi Hasan, Mosaddek Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim (wicketkeeper), Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Shafiul Islam, Shakib Al Hasan, Soumya Sarkar, Sunzamul Islam, Tamim Iqbal, Taskin Ahmed.