India stepped up their game and found a way to win when they needed to in their last ICC World T20 2016 match against Pakistan. All that effort will come to nought if they do not keep up the intensity when they play Bangladesh at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru Wednesday.
Virat Kohli was the main man for India, showing those ice-cool nerves in a chase, again. When India were in trouble against Pakistan, losing three quick wickets, Kohli was the man to calm all the nerves at the Eden Gardens, with Yuvraj Singh playing a really good hand as well.
In Bengaluru, Kohli will be the cynosure, considering this is his home ground in the IPL. Royal Challengers Bangalore have been Kohli's side since the IPL began, and nobody will know the pitch, conditions and all the other intangibles, that matter so much, better than Kohli.
If the batting star comes up trumps Wednesday, India should be able to come away with a second consecutive win in the World T20, and third straight against Bangladesh. Having said that, though, India will be up against a Bangladesh side in need of a victory, after two successive defeats, and there is nothing more dangerous than facing a desperate side.
"In this format, you can't take any team lightly," India fast bowler Ashish Nehra was quoted as saying by BCCI's official website. "Bangladesh have been doing good, everybody knows. They played the Asia Cup final with us. There were other teams like Pakistan and Sri Lanka also, they have beaten them.
"The way Bangladesh have progressed in last 3-4 years is amazing. We have to play to our potential to beat a team like Bangladesh. It's not like you can take it easy. Nobody is taking Bangladesh lightly and we are looking forward [to the match]."
Nehra and the rest of the bowlers will be a key component for India, because if they allow Bangladesh to gather a bit of batting momentum, it might just snowball into full blown confidence, something the hosts will not want. Bangladesh, on the other hand, are looking to do just that.
"I think we can improve in the first six overs, with our batting," Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan was quoted by ESPNCricinfo. "We scored only 30-odd runs in our six overs. Here in India most of the teams are scoring 45-50 runs in the first six overs because that's the best time to bat, I feel.
"I think that's the part where we lost the game (against Australia). If we had scored 15-20 runs more, that would have been a different ball game altogether. Batsmen who are getting runs need to contribute a bit more and finish the game. We need to get 170-180 runs, since that's what the average score is (at the Chinnaswamy Stadium).
Getting early wickets against Bangladesh, who could be without Tamim Iqbal again, will be crucial, and there is no better bowler to do that than Nehra.
While India's bowling stocks look good, the same cannot be said of the batsmen at the moment. Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina are yet to make any score of note, and India cannot keep chugging along with three of their top four not scoring runs. The onus is on Rohit, Dhawan and Raina to get that willow of theirs tonking the ball at will, and if they manage to do that, India will come out smiling.
Where to Watch Live
India vs Bangladesh is scheduled for a 7.30 p.m. IST (2 p.m. GMT, 9 a.m. ET) start. Live TV coverage of the match in India will be on Star Sports 1, Star Sports 3, Star Sports HD1 and Star Sports HD3 (the two 3s are with Hindi commentary). Starsports.com and Hotstar are the online live streaming options. BTV will beam the match to your TV screen live in Bangladesh.
Sky Sport 1 will broadcast the World T20 match live in New Zealand, with the live stream option on Sky Go NZ. Fox Sports 3 will show the match live in Australia, while the action can also be live streamed on Foxtel.
Star Cricket will broadcast the match live in Singapore and Hong Kong. Astro Sport will show the game live in Malaysia.
Willow TV and Willow TV Online will broadcast the WT20 game live in the US and Canada.
Viewers in the Middle East and North Africa can watch India play Bangladesh in Group 2 live on their TV screens on OSN Sports Cricket, while the match can also be live streamed on OSN Play.
SuperSport 2 is the TV channel which will broadcast the match live in South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa, with the live streaming option on SuperSport Live Video.