Bangladesh v India
Tuesday 2 July, 10.30
TV: live on Betfair Video & Sky Sports
India a curiosity
India became the latest curiosity of this World Cup after a disinterested batting effort against England at Edgbaston. Going into the game as masters of the chase following England's wobbles, they went after their target with all the energy and smarts of an associate nation. They were 28 for one after ten overs with Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli at the crease. Go figure.
Afterwards Kohli had the temerity to complain about a short boundary. It might have been a good idea to try to use it - they didn't hit a six until the last over.
India had never been in touch with the required rate and when Hardik Pandya and MS Dhoni were together needing 11 an over, it was useful to reference the Indian Premier League. In that tournament such a rate would have been breeze but this is proper, big boy's cricket. The IPL shouldn't skew what is possible for the 50 over internationals.
At least India fought hard with the ball. They looked like conceding 400 at one stage but keeping England to 337 was to their credit. They may still tweak their line-up, however.
Kuldeep Yadav looks vulnerable after an expensive showing and whether India look to lengthen their batting by replacing him with Ravi Jadeja remains to be seen. Rish Pant will probably continue at the expense of Vijay Shankar.
Relaint on Shakib
Bangladesh need to win their last two matches to qualify for the semi-finals. Against South Africa, West Indies and Afghanistan they have looked a strong unit but when a step up in class has been required against England and Australia they have come up short.
Three of their last four head-to-heads against India have resulted in heavy defeats, although they will take heart from their last meeting. Defending 223 they gave India a fright who squeezed home off the final ball with three wickets left.
As ever, they will be reliant on Shakib-al-Hasan with bat and ball. Shakib is the third-highest runscorer in the tournament with 476. His ten wickets have cost 30 each. It's player of the tournament form if Bangladesh were to make the semis.
It's not been a one-man show with the ball. Mohammad Saifuddin and Mustafizur Rahman also have ten wickets each. But as a unit they have had consistent problems in the last two years with bowling average and economy - only West Indies and Sri Lanka fare worse.
Slow pitch expected
It is unlikely that the Edgbaston groundstaff re-use the track which England made look like a road for the first half of their innings. There are stats around which suggest that surface was getting slower and slower. That would be more in keeping with the bowler-friendly surfaces we have seen in the tournament thus far. It is fair to reckon that spin will be to the fore for this one and a total of 270-280 could be enough. The first-innings average is 240. Nine of the last 15 have been won by the chaser.
A Bang trade
It's a mismatch according to the match odds market. India are no better than 1.171/6 with Bangladesh 5.509/2. It's a gulf which is big enough to tempt us into a trade.
The pitch should be, hopefully, the leveller. Something tacky and stodgy should give Bangladesh a grip on the game. In an ideal world they will bat first and go well for the total we've talked about, allowing them to put India under pressure again in a chase.
A Bang trade
Kohli is 23/10 with Sportsbook for India top-bat honours. That's fine but it's not value. On two-year data Kohli wins 29.6% of the time and Sportsbook are rating him at 30.3%. Rohit is 13/5. That is value on two-year form with a hit rate of 37%. He copped against England, too, so should be ready to fire again. Shakib is the 11/4 jolly for top Bangladesh bat but there is room in the 7/2 the pair about Taimim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahman.
Shami a price
Mohammad Shami probably deserves more respect at 10/3 (Sportsbook) for top India bowler considering he has five wins in 19. Jasprit Bumrah and Yuz Chahal, as good as they are, don't have records which suggest we should be backing them at 11/4 and 5/2 respectively.