1st T20I: Bangladesh up against India, history and pollution in 1000th T20I match
India and Bangladesh will play the 1st T20I in Delhi on Sunday (BCCI/IANS)
- Rohit Sharma will lead India vs Bangladesh in Delhi on Sunday
- India have a 8-0 win-loss record over Bangladesh in T20Is
- Bangladesh will be led by Mahmudullah in the absence of regular captain Shakib al Hasan
8 matches, 8 losses. That's what Bangladesh will be up against when they turn up on Sunday to face India for the 9th time in T20Is, having failed to taste success in any of the teams' previous encounters. It's the 2nd most lopsided rivalry in the shortest format after Pakistan's 11-0 win-loss record vs Zimbabwe. To top that, Bangladesh lost their talismanic captain and all-rounder Shakib al Hasan to an ICC-imposed year-ban for corruption, just a week before the start of the T20I series. Earlier, veteran opener Tamim Iqbal too opted out of the tour due to personal reasons. The visitors' problems don't end here though. The hazardous levels of air pollution currently canvassing Delhi have forced some of their players to train wearing masks. Bangladesh, however, will bank on the short duration of a T20I game to not allow for a long time exposure.
For hosts India, the 3-match series is another opportunity to continue with their selection experiments keeping an eye on the 2020 T20 World Cup. After their 1-1 draw in the T20I series vs South Africa, India have now slipped to the 5th place in the ICC T20I rankings - a fact that was also mentioned by stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma on Saturday. India are currently in the process of trying out different players in T20Is while also accpeting their shortcomings of not being able to put enough runs on the board while batting first. This has meant that youngsters like Rahul Chahar, Washington Sundar, Sanju Samson and Shivam Dube have been included in the squad since the end of World Cup 2019.
This approach has inevitably meant that India have risked victory in pursuit of long-term positives. And now with regular captain Virat Kohli rested, Rohit Sharma will be leading a side with himself and his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan, the only senior players in the team.
Dube to debut?
Mumbai all-rounder Shivam Dube is all set to make his India debut, as hinted by Rohit Sharma on Saturday. With Rohit also confirming that the team will continue to back Rishabh Pant for the wicketkeeper's spot, Samson might have to wait a bit longer for his 2nd game in the India jersey. Still, it could be a toss-up between KL Rahul and Manish Pandey for the No. 3 spot.
In the bowling department, India have brought back Yuzvendra Chahal in the squad and the tweaker is expected to lead the spin-attack in Delhi. Washington Sundar might accompany him as the 2nd spinner, given his utility bowling in the powerplay. In Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur and Khaleel Ahmed, India have a troika of T20 specialists who would be eager to cement their places in the side.
In what will also be the 1000th T20I game ever played, both the teams will like to mark the occasion with a victory. While India will hope for their faith in a young side to be repaid in full, for Bangladesh, a win will come as welcome news for the hordes of fans after a turmoil-filled last few weeks.
India squad: Rohit Sharma(c), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant(wk), Washington Sundar, Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Rahul Chahar, Deepak Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Shivam Dube, Shardul Thakur
Bangladesh squad: Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Naim, Mahmudullah (c), Afif Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain, Animul Islam, Liton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Arafat Sunny, Al-Amin Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Shaiful Islam, Abu Haider Rony, Mohammad Mithun, Taijul Islam.