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India v Bangladesh : ICC Cricket World Cup : Dr. Nilesh D. Mehta

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One of the surprises of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, has been the surprise early exit of England, largely due to their ineptitude. Bangladesh played their games with a cavalier attitude and deserved a spot in the quarter finals by making history at the majestic Melbourne Cricket Ground.

In their first ever quarterfinal in this event, they were asked to bowl first after India won the toss. With an attitude of “we have nothing to lose”, Bangladesh started their campaign with Mashrafe Mortaza offering a juicy delivery that Rohit Sharma promptly dispatched to the boundary off the first delivery of the match. Predictably, M. S. Dhoni made no changes in the team that had won six consecutive matches so far in this tournament. There was some concern about the lack of form for R. Jadeja but Dhoni persisted with his winning combination.

On a “drop-in” pitch, Mortaza bowled without much spite. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan took advantage of batting first. It was particularly pleasing to see both the openers get into the act quickly. It was Rohit’s day. In his score of 137 off 126 balls, he smacked 14 delectable boundaries that allowed him to score his first World Cup century and with it the the Man-of-the-Match honours. He accelerated his innings in top gear by scoring 35 runs off the last 18 balls. India had a bit of a stutter in the middle part of their innings. But, then the experience of this team came through with Suresh Raina contributing a useful 65. India’s score of 302 was going to be a tall order for the Tigers from Bangladesh.

Indian bowlers rose to the occasion, especially the fast bowlers who utilised the short delivery to good advantage. For a team that has been in the Southern Hemisphere for nearly four and a half months, the bowlers demonstrated enough zest in their innings albeit against a mediocre Bangladesh side. One of the highlights of India’s bowling in this World Cup has been their economy rate in the middle of the innings. Dhoni praised the seamers for their consistency to hit the right areas on the pitch during his pre-match comments.

With this win over Bangladesh, Dhoni registered his 100th win in one day internationals as captain behind the greats of Australia, Ricky Ponting and Alan Border. The Indian quartet of Mohammed Shami, Mohit Sharma, Umesh Yadav, and R. Ashwin bowled to a plan and methodically crafted a comfortable victory against Bangladesh.

India’s bowlers have continued to bowl their opposition out in this World Cup and that has been a tribute to their persistence in bowling. At the outset of this ICC event, there was much concern about the quality of Indian bowling. However, that doubt was dispelled with quality spin and pace bowling by India as they claimed 70 wickets in seven matches. What remains to be seen is if this high quality bowling will get them to the summit in the next phase of this World Cup.

India beat Bangladesh by 109 runs and enter the semi-finals to set up a clash with Australia.