India Vs Bangladesh: Pollution Main Concern In Delhi Ahead Of 1000th T20I Match
Pollution was the main talking point ahead of the 1000th match of T20 International history, and not the competing teams, India and Bangladesh, that will be playing the first game of the series here in Delhi on Sunday. India is without Virat Kohli, who has been rested for the three-match T20 considering his workload, while Bangladesh is missing Shakib-al-Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mashrafe Mortaza, and Mohammad Saifuddin for different reasons.
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But air quality was the focal point as the overhead conditions looked gloomy at the Arun Jaitley Stadium at the Ferozeshah Kotla grounds – yes, that is how the venue is now known as. Had this match been a day match, either the full game would not have gone through, or it might have been called-off completely. Fortunately, Sunday’s game will be played under the lights, starting at 7 pm, much after the sunset, when the pollution would probably be not as severe. There is no guarantee though that the four floodlight towers would get the better of the evening smog.
Several Bangladeshi players -- Liton Das, Shafiul Islam, Aminul Islam and bowling coach Daniel Vettori -- again wore masks during their morning practice session on Saturday. However, Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah Riyad was not complaining. “We had a chat about these conditions. I think probably it is not within our control. Everybody is healthy and fine,” he said during a press conference. He said that he and his teammates were “trying to adapt to the conditions” in the India national capital where schools have been shut for a few days due to extreme post-Diwali pollution. Apart from overcoming pollution, Bangladesh will have to make do with the available resources, in the absence of their experienced players.
Lately, Delhi has fallen victim to poor air quality due to stubble burning. Image Courtesy: Qaiser Mohammad Ali
On the other hand, only a couple of Indians turned out at the Kotla on Saturday as it was an optional practice session for them. But India have an embarrassment of riches, so to say, so stand-in captain Rohit Sharma was not worried. He said a bunch of youngsters -- Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant, Washington Sundar, Rahul Chahar, Deepak Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Shivam Dube, and Shardul Thakur – are challenging each other to get into the Indian team and that it augured well.
This match, nevertheless, is important for individuals of the two teams, and of course, for the competing teams preparing for the next year’s T20 World Cup. Rohit emphasised the recent form of Sanju Samson and also lauded new entrant and hard-hitting batsman Dube while backing Delhi wicket-keeper Pant at the same time. He also hinted that Samson could return to the Indian T20 XI and Dube might make his T20 International debut during the three-match series.
“There are a lot of younger players now. Sanju has been performing really well in the domestic circuit, while Shivam has made his presence felt since the last year. They both have talent, we have seen that in the domestic circuit,” said Sharma said at a pre-match press conference.
Rohit also said that he was not taking the opponents lightly. “Bangladesh is a very, very good team. All these players we have seen how they perform, not only at home but also away, whenever they have gone out and played, especially against us they have put us under pressure. So, there is no way we look at this team differently. I understand their two key players are missing, but they still have quality within their ranks and they can beat anyone,” he averred.
The Delhi match would be the 1000th T20 International since the first game was played on February 17, 2005, between hosts New Zealand and Australia at Eden Park, Auckland. Australia won by 44 runs.Related Articles:-
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