India hunting their seventh straight win at this ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, and 11th in all CWCs; Bangladesh looking to create a massive upset in possibly their biggest ever game – India vs Bangladesh certainly promises to be a fascinating quarterfinal match at the MCG on Thursday.
Even if India had not won all six of their matches in the group stages and weren't the champions, they would still go into this game as the favourites, which only puts more pressure on them to come away with another W, while easing the pressure on Bangladesh considerably.
Having said that, however, India have dealt with the pressure so far pretty well, and MS Dhoni's men will take this game as just another hurdle to fly over in their quest to retain their title.
"We are not taking Bangladesh lightly," said Suresh Raina, the centurion from the last game. "It is a big day for us. This is the quarterfinal and we have to win. One mistake and you can lose."
While that might be overstating it a bit, what is doubtless is there is no room for complacency for India. Be it UAE, Ireland, Zimbabwe Pakistan, South Africa, West Indies or Bangladesh, they need to be at 100 percent, and if they are at that level, they should be looking at a semifinal.
"Bangladesh have done well against us," added Raina on Wednesday. "We lost against them in 2007 and they have had success against us in the Asia Cup as well. But we are not thinking about such facts.
"We are looking at what we have to do tomorrow and what we have done in our league matches. We just need to play positive cricket. I think we will do well. The main World Cup is going to start for us tomorrow."
Indeed, Bangladesh will look to that 2007 World Cup win in the West Indies as inspiration. There are several players from that squad still with the team, but pulling off another victory against India, and that too in a knockout match, will not be easy.
Not that Bangladesh will not know that. With everyone expecting India to ease past them, all they can do is play up to their full ability and catch India cold, because, as they showed against England and New Zealand, they are certainly capable of stopping the big teams.
"We feel very proud," said Mashrafe Mortaza, who has been declared fit to lead the side in the quarterfinals against India after missing the match against the Black Caps. "It is going to be a very exciting match for us.
"The boys are very relaxed. They just want to perform on the biggest ground. Hopefully they will give it their best shot."
While Bangladesh have shown good skill in their batting, with Mahmudullah's resurgence up the order a big plus, it the bowling that has caught the eye, particularly the fast bowlers. Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed and Mashrafe gave all impressed and if the trio can trouble the India batsmen early – and the openers' form as a combination has been iffy -- then there could be a game on at the MCG.
"It could be a high scoring match," added Mortaza. "We have to bowl well definitely. It will be a big challenge to bowling against the strong Indian batsmen. Apart from the bowling, we need to bat well as well since their bowling has been good in this tournament."
India were impressive, and then some, the last time they played in Melbourne, but a few trips here and there, and Bangladesh will be right there to take advantage. However, another performance like the one against South Africa, and it could be a place in the semifinals.
Where to Watch Live
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India vs Bangladesh quarterfinal is scheduled for a 2.30 pm local time (9 am IST, 3.30 am GMT, 10.30 pm ET) start with live coverage in India on the Star Sports network (Star Sports 1, Star Sports 3, Star Sports HD1, Star Sports HD3). The match will also be shown live on Suvarna Plus, Jalsa Movies and Asianet Movies along with DD National.
Viewers in India can also watch the quarterfinal by live streaming online on Starsports.com and Star Sports Live Pro. Catch the match live online in Bangladesh on the same website, while TV coverage will be on Star Sports and Bangladesh TV.
Audience living in the UK can catch all the action live on Sky Sports with the live stream option on Watch Sky Sports and Sky Go. Viewers in the USA can stay up late and watch the match live on ESPN or ESPN Cricket.
To catch the match live in Australia, tune into Channel 9 and Fox Sports, while the action can also be live streamed on Foxtel and Cricket Australia Live. Downloading the Cricket Australia Live App will also let you watch the game live. Viewers in New Zealand can catch all the action live on Sky TV and Sky Go, while audience in the Middle East will be able to do the same on OSN and OSN Play.