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Virat Kohli unfazed by limited game time for India's middle order

Virat Kohli unfazed by limited game time for India's middle order”

Steady progress enabled Bangladesh to win the ICC Trophy in 1997 and two years later they played in the full World Cup where they pulled off a famous victory over Pakistan.

Asked what has been the catalyst in Bangladesh's transformation as a potent ODI side, Mortaza said: "Beating England in 2015 World Cup and then giving New Zealand a tough fight were the high points".

Indian Skipper Virat Kohli has assured his fans of putting up a top show against Bangladesh but the other side has remained calm.

Against India, the onus will be as much on Bangladesh's pace bowlers.

But the calming presence of Mashrafe Mortaza and Shakib Al Hasan will be a big bonus. It could have been any other side.

"When things are not going well, people will have a lot of opinions and you need to believe in yourself it's a matter of time you can do it again", said one of India's greatest match winners.

Hence, India will still be favourites when they walk onto the pitch at Edgbaston on Thursday. Against South Africa, India's quicks showed they could bowl to a plan for long enough. They will be looking to beat the Bangladeshis and a loss would be inexcusable at this juncture. Added to that is the youthful exuberance of Mustafizur Rahman and Mushfiqur Rahim. He has taken one wicket in 138 balls while conceding 130 runs. Just the expectations are also huge back home; how equipped are your players do you think to handle this pressure which comes along with this expectation?

There is nothing that is for granted in any cricket match, not least in a limited-overs contest. Bangladesh has a pretty decent bowling unit with a lot of variety in their seam attack.

Bangladesh defeated New Zealand in a league match by three wickets from a hard situation, boasting on the knocks of Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah. The decision for them is whether they want the offspin of Mehedi Hasa. The topper of Group A will face second spot holder of Group B in the first Semi-final at Sophia Gardens. We lost, but we've played so far well.

While India-Pakistan is one of the world's biggest sporting rivalries, Bangladesh are fast emerging as a worthy competitor.

In pursuit of a place in the World Cup semifinal, India were chasing 261 against defending champions Australia.

India bowlers' economy rate of 4.33 in the first Powerplay was the best in the league stages; Bangladesh's 5.60 was the worst.

In the past few years, matches between the two neighbouring nations have replaced the excitement and competitiveness once associated with another neighbouring nation Pakistan.

'They have cricketers who are skilled, who are committed to play for Bangladesh and play with a lot of passion. But nonetheless, we must appreciate the efforts of Bangladesh putting up gutsy fight against New Zealand and clinching series away from them. I know it could have been England, it could have been anyone.



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