Bangladesh has never gotten the better of India in the shortest format. In fact, the Tigers have beaten their neighbours only once outside Dhaka in all formats and that was 12 years ago during the ODI World Cup held in the West Indies.
Still, every tour is a new beginning and T20 is the format for upsets.
There is cloud of gloom surrounding Bangladesh cricket and it isn’t even because they open the series at Delhi. Shakib Al Hasan was banned by the ICC for not reporting approaches by bookies and Tamim Iqbal preferred to stay at home with his pregnant wife.
However, despite traveling for a series without the services of their best players, they could pull off an upset over India in the upcoming T20I series.
Here are some of the reasons why this could be possible:
India’s inexperienced bowling
India are missing their share of key players this series, giving them an opportunity to test their impressive bench strength. For the visitors, not facing the likes of Jasprit Bumrah should be a sign of encouragement.
Mustafizur Rahman, the best bowler in Bangladesh’s ranks, has played more games than all three Indian pacers – Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar and Shradul Thakur – combined. The top order batsmen, Liton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim and Soumya Sarkar could put pressure on these inexperienced pacers by looking to attack them.
India’s unpredictable middle-order
India’s middle and lower order duties will be performed by a combination of Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant, Shivam Dube and Krunal Pandya. All the above mentioned players are flashy and at times they do flatter to deceive. With no Dinesh Karthik or Hardik Pandya, India could feel the pinch of a missing finisher in the batting lineup when a crunch situation crops up. Bangladesh’s T20I captain Mahmudullah is their finisher and he has been their best batsman in the format after Shakib in the past 12 months. He averages 32 and boasts of a strike rate of 125.49.
India vulnerable at home?
India’s dominance at home in both the longer formats is unquestionable. However, in T20Is, they do tend to slip at home, from time to time. So far in 2019 India have just won one game and lost three in T20Is at home – twice against Australia once against the Proteas.
Even South Africa, a team that was battered in the Test series, could sneak away with a T20I win during the tour.
The matches in the series against Bangladesh will be held at Delhi, Rajkot and Nagpur. While playing at the capital has its own hazards, India have suffered two of their biggest home defeats in terms of runs at the other two venues.
They’ve lost two and won one at Nagpur while their record at Rajkot is at one win in two games.
Bangladesh cricket is in turmoil and could do with a boost. Is there be anything bigger than toppling India at their own backyard, a year before the start of the ICC T20 World Cup?
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