NEW DELHI: Based on the sides’ present performance, the widely-held pre-match prediction for India’s World Cup match versus Bangladesh in Pune on Thursday is that Rohit Sharma‘s squad will easily win.
However, that view based on the form book will have to be torn away if the glossy surface is harmed.
In the last four one-day internationals, Bangladesh have defeated India three times: once in the Asia Cup Super Four match and twice in a bilateral series in December 2022.

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The underdogs in this event have already demonstrated how to defeat the favorites. Ask England’s and South Africa’s reactions to their shocking defeats by Afghanistan and the Netherlands, respectively.
India will undoubtedly want to avoid that potential banana peel and continue their successful World Cup run.
In terms of batting, captain Rohit will try to keep up his dominant form, and top order batsmen Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli will be motivated to put up massive totals.

With incredible scores of 86 against Pakistan and 131 against Afghanistan, Rohit has been at the heart of India’s dominance in the last few games. India now holds the top slot in the points standings and will look to continue their winning streak.
Given that he is back to full fitness and has had a great run in the ODIs this year, Gill, the younger opening partner of Rohit, will be eager to get a big score for himself.

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A mistimed smash by Kohli against Pakistan resulted in an early departure, but that was only a minor hiccup considering the batsman’s earlier magnificent 85 against Australia and match-winning 55 not out against Afghanistan.
The undefeated fifty by Shreyas Iyer against Pakistan, among other things, has indicated that India’s batting is clicking together and there are no major issues. As a result, the group might decide against changing the successful formula just yet.
While India will try to take advantage of the favorable batting conditions at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, their inconsistent record of four wins in seven ODI matches there, coupled with their recent run against Bangladesh — three defeats in the last four one-day matches — makes the bowlers’ role all the more crucial.

India will undoubtedly be strong favorites over Bangladesh given their bowlers’ elite efforts in holding Australia and Pakistan to meager totals of 199 and 191, respectively.
Although Jasprit Bumrah’s brilliance and Kuldeep Yadav’s guile made them stand out from the rest of the competition in their sheer ability to keep the opposing team’s scoring rate in check and making regular inroads even on the flattest of decks, Indian bowlers have also done a collective job.
It is not Bangladesh’s fault if they spend a significant portion of their practice time devising strategies to stop Rohit, whose scorching form makes a third consecutive century in World Cup matches against the “Tigers” look likely.
India exceeded the 300-run threshold for the third time in a row against Bangladesh since the 2011 World Cup thanks to Rohit Sharma’s brilliant 137 in the quarterfinal in Melbourne (2015 World Cup) and 104 in Birmingham (2019). On each of these occasions, India buried their opponents under a mountain of runs.

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The Indian skipper leads all batters in World Cup history with eight centuries, and considering his outstanding play, it remains to be known when he will reach double-digit hundreds totals.
Bangladesh are no pushovers, and they have shown to be a difficult opponent for India to face, but the understanding of the conditions and an anticipated full stadium at the MCA Stadium guarantee India the finest atmosphere once again to record another win in this World Cup and continue their march into the quarterfinals.
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan must overcome his quad injury to his left leg in order to be fit for selection on Thursday.
Shakib, who did not bowl during the team’s practice on Tuesday, will be crucial if Bangladesh is to compete with India.
Bangladesh are in a precarious situation after a convincing victory in their World Cup opener and two losses to superior opponents, knowing that a third straight setback will only diminish their chances.

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Only Mushfiqur Rahim has performed in the middle order and Litton Das and Mehidy Hasan Miraz both have one half-century to show from the first three games. More will be anticipated from players Najmul Hossain Shanto and Towhid Hridoy.
The squad has been scrambling for bowling options, and Taskin Ahmed’s abrupt deterioration in performance has added pressure. The right-arm seamer has only managed two wickets in three appearances.
With only two wickets to his name after three games, Mustafizur Rahman’s results have been mostly disappointing for someone with his level of experience.
Squads (from):
India: Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya (vc), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishan Kishan (wk), Suryakumar Yadav
Bangladesh: Shakib Al Hasan (c), Litton Das (wk), Tanzid Hasan, Najmul Hossain Shanto (vc), Tawhid Hridoy, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mahmudullah Riyad, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nasum Ahmed, Mahedi Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Hasan Mahmud, Shoriful Islam, Tanzim Hasan Sakib
(With PTI inputs)

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