Having played on two pitches where batting was rather difficult, India will hope for batsmen-friendly conditions when they play Bangladesh at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. A nice, flat wicket, where runs can be scored freely is what most of the India fans will want, having seen two battles of attrition from their team in the first two matches of the ICC World T20 2016.
Taking turn is fine, and indeed expected, on an Indian wicket, but the manner in which the two pitches played in Nagpur and Kolkata made life things quite difficult for the batsmen. While some solid competition between bat and ball is never a bad thing in T20 cricket – indeed it is welcome – you do not want the competition to be too skewed either way.
The Chinnaswamy Stadium is usually a batting belter, and while the wickets in the World T20 so far have not been of the score-200-and-we-will-chase -it-down mould, it will be a lot better than the ones the India batsmen have faced so far.
With the pressure back on Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina to perform, an opportunity to perform on a batsman-friendlier pitch might not be such a bad thing for India and MS Dhoni, who was forced to defend the two players after another poor performance against Pakistan.
While question marks remain on the batsmen, the bowlers did quite well for India again, and with the Chinnaswamy Stadium pitch showing a bit of turn for the slower bowlers, the likes of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja might come into play again, even on this small ground, where hitting sixes is not that difficult a thing to do.
Harbhajan Singh and Pawan Negi are likely to stay on the bench, though, because Dhoni is not someone who makes changes to his team, unless there is an absolute need for it. Had the captain and the rest of the team management guessed at the amount of turn the Eden Gardens pitch would take, they might have brought in either Harbhajan or Negi at the expense of Hardik Pandya, but with the conditions in Bengaluru expected to be on the normal T20 lines, expect the latter to keep his place in the playing XI.
The team news is not as cut and dry for Bangladesh, who are sweating on the fitness of Tamim Iqbal. Tamim sat out the match against Australia with food poisoning, and his availability for the India match remains uncertain. The opener has easily been Bangladesh's best batsman in this WT20 and the last thing an already-struggling side will want is to lose their in-form batsman for another game. If Tamim fails to recover in time, Mohammad Mithun will again deputise at the top of the order for the veteran left-hander.
Expected lineups: India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Ashish Nehra, Jasprit Bumrah.
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Sabbir Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Nassir Hossain, Mashrafe Mortaza, Al-Amin Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Abu Hider.