World Cup 2nd Quarter-Final: India vs Bangladesh at Melbourne
Despite being the highest-profile cricket team in the world, India have managed to move quietly through the group stage without great fanfare attached to their six-game winning streak. Most of the focus has been on co-hosts and tournament favourites Australia and New Zealand, or on the heated battle for the last quarter final spots. Meanwhile, India have cantered into the final eight, building confidence and momentum with each victory. Their key batsmen are in fine fettle and, unexpectedly, their bowling and fielding has been clinical. After going winless in the tri-series ODI tournament against Australia and England which preceded the World Cup, India were not expected to have a major impact here. But the defending champions now are perfectly placed to push for back-to-back titles. Bangladesh have surprised many cricket followers with their spirited performances at this tournament. They showed in their final match of the group stages that they can compete strongly with the elite sides, pushing New Zealand all the way in an exciting contest. But their lack of experience in big games such as this one will be a major hindrance. India should win comfortably.
Mohammed Shami (India) vs Mahmudullah (Bangladesh):
Shami has flourished on the hard Australian tracks, bowling with intensity and extracting plenty of bounce. He has shown an ability to both make breakthroughs with the new ball and also take wickets in the middle and late overs of innings. India will use him to target Bangladesh’s mainstay Mahmudullah, who is in blistering form. Mahmudullah compiled a wonderful 128no against New Zealand and has 344 runs at an average of 86 for the tournament.