After the Fatullah Test, which was marred by rain, India and Bangladesh switch formats to take part in a three-match one-day series beginning on Thursday in Dhaka. Traditionally, India have held the upper hand over their neighbours across formats, but history can be deceiving. This is not the same Bangladesh team that surrendered meekly, at least not in ODIs. They are coming off a historic 3-0 ripping on Pakistan at home in their previous ODI encounter. They have tasted victory against India as well, back in the World Cup in 2007, and more recently in the Asia Cup a couple of years ago.
Match: Bangladesh vs India, 1st ODI at Mirpur
Time: Match begins at 14:30 local time (8:30 GMT | 2 PM IST)
The fact that India have sent a full-strength squad to Bangladesh is proof that they aren't taking the hosts easily. With the sole Test over, Virat Kohli will be handing the reins of the team back to MS Dhoni. It remains to be seen how the team adjusts to the changes. Having two separate captains for the different formats is not something Team India is used to although it has become a norm of sorts among international teams. Along with Dhoni, the other ODI specialists like Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Stuart Binny and Suresh Raina have also joined the one-day squad in Bangladesh, strengthening the side.
The series will be extremely important for Jadeja in the wake of his poor showing in the World Cup. He has already been axed from the Test side, and many were surprised that he even made it to the ODI squad. Another failure against Bangladesh, and the emergence of Axar, who offers the same skills as Jadeja, could prove determintal to the latter's international career. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has had a very good start to his one-day career, but with his Test career not quite taking off, he needs to continue performing well in the one-day format.
Looking at the others, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan will be keen to resume their successful partnership at the top of the order. Dhawan will be high on confidence following his success in the Test at Fatullah. And even though Rohit had a failure, he would be looking forward to get among the runs. India have an extremely strong middle order with Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina and Dhoni all in form. If the batting clicks, India will definitely have a distinct advantage over Bangladesh. In the bowling department, Umesh Yadav and Mohit Sharma have done well in the pace department while Ravichandran Ashwin has experience in spin.
Bangladesh also possess a strong line up although they will be missing the prolific Mahmudullah, who has been ruled out due to injury. Tamim Iqbal and Mominul Haque have been consistent with the bat. Wicket-keeper Mushfiqur Rahim has also constantly played match-defining knocks. Soumya Sarkar has looked good, but he needs to make bigger scores. Without doubt, they would again depend heavily on Shakib Al Hasan in the all-round department. In the bowling department, they have match-winning bowlers in skipper Mashrafe Mortaza, Arafat Sunny, Taskin Ahmed and Rubel Hassan. Will the rain stay away though?
--By A Cricket Analyst