Amid the severe air pollution in Delhi, which plummeted to hazardous level and led to public-health emergency, Bangladesh will start their India tour by taking on the hosts in the first of three-match T20 series tomorrow (Sunday) at Arun Jaitley Stadium, reports BSS.
The match starts at 7.30 pm.
The BCCI had previously made it clear that the match would go ahead as scheduled on November 3 even though the air quality issue was brought up by environmentalists.
The game is indeed on despite the schools have been shut, construction work stalled and athletic activities advised against due to the air pollution. But, the two teams didn’t complain officially and prepared them for the battle.
The game is India’s first International fixture after the Diwali when the air pollution remains severe. However, when Bangladesh have no official complain about the air quality issue, they seemed to be still in pain because of Shakib Al Hasan’s issue.
Shakib was banned for two years, with one year of that suspended after he accepted three charges of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code.
Shakib, who became the first player in World Cup history to claim the double of 600+ runs and 10+ wickets in a single competition this year, had been set to captain the side and just last week announced that the country’s players were calling off strike action after working with the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to reach agreement on a number of contractual and structural issues.
Bangladesh will also miss the service of Tamim Iqbal and Seam, bowling all-rounder, but their absence was not shocking. Tamim skipped the tour as he and his wife is expecting their second baby while Saifuddin’s absence is injury related.
Such was the magnitude of Shakib’s absence that Mushfiqur Rahim tried to console the whole team by requesting them to mull his absence as injury related. However, even the air quality issue couldn’t sidestep Shakib’s issue.
“We are looking forward to the series because anything can happen in cricket. Shakib was injured before… But, we played in the Asia Cup, so it is okay,” Bangladesh batsman Liton Das said.
“We prepared well before coming here. We had a training camp back in Bangladesh and then we also have a couple of days to train here. So, it is a good opportunity to adapt. Shakib is the best player on our team and we are going to miss him definitely,” he added.
The three-match T20 series is indeed the both side’s reparations for 2020 October’s Men’s T20 World Cup.
That Bangladesh is yet to learn the art of T20 cricket is evidenced in the stats. The Tigers played eight T20 Internationals against India and lost all of them.
But, they have something to cherish despite their poor T20 record. It will be just the second time the two sides have met on Indian soil in the short format, following India’s dramatic single run victory in Bangalore during the group stages of the 2016 World Twenty20.
Bangladesh was so close that time and they could expect to produce such performance, specially when India is without some key players. Their captain Virat Kohli was rested while the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya are not playing due to injury.
Bangladesh who shared Tri-series T20 trophy with Afghanistan last month at home den will take the field with a point to prove against a young Indian side led by Rohit Sharma.
India will be looking to bounce back after drawing 1-1 with South Africa in September’s three-match series.
India is currently fifth ranked team in T20 cricket while Bangladesh currently sits in ninth.
Bangladesh squad: Mahmudullah (captain), Liton Das, Abu Hider, Afif Hossain, Al-Amin Hossain, Mossadek Hossain, Aminul Islam, Shafiul Islam, Taijul Islam, Mohammad Mithun, Mohammad Naim, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mustafizur Rahman, Soumya Sarkar, Arafat Sunny.
India squad: Rohit Sharma (captain), Khaleel Ahmed, Yuzvendra Chahal, Deepak Chahar, Rahul Chahar, Shikhar Dhawan, Shivam Dube, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Krunal Pandya, Rishabh Pant KL Rahul, Sanju Samson, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur.