Just another cricket series
With FIFA Football world cup taking over the limelight and most of the senior players rested, the hastily planned bilateral cricket series of India’s tour of Bangladesh has been pushed to a far corner. The usually packed stands of Mirpur cricket stadium is hardly crowded, and the Indian sports channels have shifted focus to FIFA, labelling this cricket series as ‘meaningless’. But the young Indian cricket squad led by Suresh Raina are taking this series as seriously as any other one.
India’s tour of Bangladesh has three One Day International matches held at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur from 15 June to 19 June. The Indian cricket team has two debutants, Akshar Patel and Parvez Rasool and many old faces like Uthappa and Saha who weren’t seen on the international scene for quite some time now. With the senior players rested, this is a good opportunity to test these players, some of whom had an excellent run in the recently concluded IPL 7.
On paper India doesn’t look very formidable, but it has already managed to win the series without batting an eyelid. Though the conditions haven’t been ideal, with rain playing a spoil sport in both the matches held so far, India didn’t have to struggle hard to win against Bangladesh. The stormy weather of Mirpur did nothing but spoil all chances of Bangladesh, who ended up extending their home run loss to 9, after being bowled for 58 runs in the last match.
Robin Uthappa, who was returning to the Indian national side after winning the orange cap in the IPL 7, scored a quick half century along with Rahane in the first match to take the team past the winning line. India won by seven wickets by Duckworth Lewis method, with seven balls remaining while chasing a reduced target of 150 from 26 overs. Earlier, the Bangladeshi batsmen had put up 272 runs on board, which seemed to be a challenging target until rain favoured the Indians.
Mushfiqur Rahim, captain of Bangladesh had felt that their 272 in the earlier match wasn’t enough. May be
that’s why they chose to field in this match, as opposed to bat like they did in the previous match. Debutant pacer, Taskin Ahmed bore fruitful results of his captain’s decision by getting a five-for in his first match. Indian batting line up was bowled out for 105, their lowest total ever against Bangladesh.
Bangladesh looked to be favourites here, in spite of the rain and the target being revised to 106 runs from 41 overs. The euphoria of Ahmed’s brilliant debut lasted only for as long as Stuart Binny didn’t come into play. Due to the short burst of rain, the track favoured the bowlers and in comes Binny with his unplayable swing to claim 6 wickets for 4 runs, the best figure by any Indian bowler. Between him and Mohit Sharma, who took 4-22 they packed up their opponents pretty neatly. The Bangladeshi batsmen had no answers for either Binny’s spin or Sharma’s pace and were bowled out for 58 runs, letting India win the series 2-0.
A series that was shunned by majority is surely turning out to be a stepping stone in the careers of many a players. There is still one more match left, to be played on 19 June, where India would look to have a clean sweep and Bangladesh would want to end their losing streak.
2nd M.A. Mass Communication