Bangladesh vs India, 1st ODI: Key player battles
A riveting three-match ODI series awaits both India and Bangladesh, with the opener scheduled to be played on December 4 (Sunday). India last toured Bangladesh in 2015, succumbing to a 2-1 defeat. The visitors have a solid side to avenge the defeat. Bangladesh are known to pull upsets and remain a threat on their day. We look at the player battles.
Rohit Sharma vs Mustafizur Rahman
Skipper Rohit Sharma had poor returns in the concluded ICC T20 World Cup. He averages 60 against the Tigers in ODIs. He will look to get back his rhythm. He will be up against former Mumbai Indians quick Mustafizur Rahman, who has dismissed him thrice across seven innings in the format. The latter's slower ones and cutters are to be dealt with caution.
Virat Kohli vs Shakib Al Hasan
Virat Kohli has looked ominous ever since he found his touch in the Asia Cup 2022. The right-hander scored runs for fun in the T20 WC Down Under. Coming to this series, Kohli averages 80.83 in Bangladesh in this format (50s: 3, 100s: 5). Spin all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan will be looking to keep him quiet. He has dismissed him thrice.
Litton Das vs Axar Patel, Shahbaz Ahmed
With skipper Tamim Iqbal ruled out due to a groin injury, Litton Das will have dual responsibilities on his shoulder. Given his form, he could be banked to ace his job as a batter. The right-hander has scored 500 runs this year at 62.50. Versus spin, he has amassed 278 runs at 55.60. Indian spinners might have a hard time in the middle.
Mohammed Siraj vs Bangladesh’s top-order
Mohammed Siraj has been a wicket-taking machine in 50-over cricket in 2022, especially with the new ball. The right-armer has snapped up 12 of 18 wickets in the powerplay. He has averaged a mouth-dropping 15.66 across 12 innings. He will be expected to run riot in the initial overs yet again. Bangladesh's top-order should be wary of his early spells.