Kohli unfazed by limited game time for India's middle order

Frederick Owens
June 15, 2017

Such has been India's dominance over Bangladesh. The social media war has already started between Indians and Bangladeshis.

Holders India will be favourites against Bangladesh on Thursday but as Pakistan proved against England, there are no guarantees in the ICC Champions Trophy semi-finals. That led to the end of the really controversial Greg Chappell era as coach.

Of course that's not to say that there's no tension and drama when the two meet! After a rookie Mustafizur Rahman, with his off-cutters, ran through the Indian batting line-up during the three-match ODI series in June 2015, a newspaper in Bangladesh produced a "fake" cutter advertisement. Such gruesomeness was not seen even during our matches with Pakistan.

If all of that isn't enough its worth remembering that Bangladesh have form when it comes to beating India on the big stage. It was the Twenty20 World Cup in 2016. The last ball run out by Dhoni was pure genius.

For a Bangladesh team of which very little was expected not so long ago, such hopes are another sign of progress. But then, you can't write off Bangladesh.

You may remember the furore created during the Indo-Bangla tie during the 2015 ODI World Cup. Rohit Sharma rode his luck to a big hundred, and the bowlers did the rest.

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"We are not going to go with what past results have done going into a big game like this". They will have to look to their other performances for inspiration.

Bangladesh have so far ridden on the backs of their experienced players' performances to book a semi-final berth albeit with some assistance from rain in the game against Australia where they were down in the dumps when the skies opened up and points were split.

"It's no surprise anymore to anyone that they are [doing] really well, and they've really improved their cricket, and it's a credit to their set-up and the kind of players they have now who are taking more responsibility, and they are a very risky side on their day, and everyone realises that", he said. India will know, however, that losing to Bangladesh will be taken especially badly back home. Yes, they've beaten New Zealand and run England closer than the home nation would have liked, but it would be such a shock to see Bangladesh in the final you'd be tempted to check whether Claudio Ranieri was in their dressing room. "May the better team win", said Indian high commissioner to the UK, Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha.

The Indian team certainly has one of the most formidable batting in the tournament.

However the Indian bowlers have not done that well. Needing a win over New Zealand to stay alive in the competition, Bangladesh recovered superbly from 33-4 in their chase of 266 as centuries from Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah dumped out the Black Caps. "Not really thinking about what happened in the past or things that goes on at the global level". The conditions at Edgbaston should suit India's pace bowlers, and with Ravichandran Ashwin having been restored to the side against South Africa, India have most bowling bases covered.

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