Ravindra Jadeja’s 4 for 29 in his comeback match followed by Rohit Sharma’s unbeaten 83 have helped India to take down Bangladesh by seven wickets in its first ‘Super Four’ fixture of the Asia Cup on Friday night at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Chasing a modest 174 runs target, India raced it with 82 balls to spare.
Earlier, Jadeja, who arrived in Dubai only last night as a replacement of the Axar Patel, had been straightway drafted in the XI. It was predicted considering the fact the team management was not in favor of losing the batting strength of the team following Hardik Pandya’s injury. And the southpaw responded brilliantly, as he did in the Oval Test, earlier this month.
It was an interesting decision by Rohit to bat second on this wicket. However, Bangladesh did not have the best of starts. Both their openers got out within the first six overs.
Jadeja was given the ball in the last over of the powerplay and Shakib Al Hasan straightway went after him, hitting 11 runs in his first three balls. But in the fourth delivery, the Bangladesh vice-captain unnecessarily tried to play yet another lofted sweep shot and caught in the square leg.
The recklessness by Shakib opened the floodgates and the left-arm spinner just went through their middle-order by some accurate wicket to wicket bowling. Unlike the other two Indian spinners – Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, who were wicketless in the match – he did not try to experiment much. He bowled a flatter trajectory and let the wicket do the job. The lack of temperament by the Bangladeshi batters also played its part.
At one point Bangladesh were 101 for 7. From there a 67-run eight-wicket stand between Mehidy Hasan and skipper Mashrafe Mortaza took them past 150. Eventually, they were bowled out for 173 in the last over of the innings.
In the second inning, the in-form Indian openers Rohit and Dhawan began the run-chase steadily. They knew losing early wickets would bring Bangladesh in the game. Hence, they batted very conservatively. In the first 10 overs, only 51 runs were scored.
On that slow track, Bangladesh bowled off-spinner Mehidy Hasan 10 overs on a trot. But both Rohit and Dhawan did not allow him to dominate. Even Shakib, who got the wicket of Dhawan, was not being able to make any sort of impact.
Towards the end hours, MS Dhoni was promoted to No. 4 to have some time in the middle before the big-ticket matches. He scored a 37-ball 33 and got out while trying to finish the match with a trademark six.
Overall, it has been yet another clinical performance by the Indian team. Even without a few key players, they are by far looking the best side in this edition of Asia Cup. In their next game, India will take on arch-rivals Pakistan on Sunday.