Bangladesh, India ready for first ODI


Virat Kohli

The three-match one-day international series between home side Bangladesh and India promises to be exciting and important for both teams for various reasons. When the Tigers take the field today against the two-time world champions in the first game, they will have an eye on the rankings table as a good result in the series will give the Tigers a strong chance of making it among the top eight before the cut-off date of September 30 and qualify for the 2017 Champions Trophy.

The home side is boosted by their recent success in the World Cup and the three-match series sweep over Pakistan and they will be eager to continue the momentum in possibly their favourite format of the game.

Wicket-keeper and top-order batsman Liton Kumar Das is likely to make his ODI debut and it won’t be surprising if he opens the batting alongside Tamim Iqbal with Soumya Sarkar pushed back to No 3. Rest of the line-up is expected to be unchanged as they have gained the stability in the 50-over format with growing success.

However, skipper Mashrafe bin Mortaza has his foot on the ground and kept India ahead as he said: “I firmly believe India are favorites but when we get on the field we do not think about who is favorite or who is not. I hope we can play our best cricket.

“After the 2007 World Cup, we started to believe that we can beat any team. We never lost our mental strength despite losing matches. Of course if we are playing against a higher-ranked team, they will be the favorites but we do not think that we cannot beat them.”

Meanwhile, India’s captain cool MS Dhoni is also aware of the fact that Bangladesh are a tricky opponent and they have the ability to beat any nation.

“They are a very good ODI team. Also, if you see they have been playing ODI cricket for a long time. With their T20 coming in, it gives the guys more exposure and at the same time it gives them the right kind of calculative power as to when they can take the risk and when it is important to back off. I always felt they had a very good ODI side,” said the visiting captain.

The match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium will begin at 3pm.

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