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India vs Bangladesh: Done and dusted, just a sweep to go

Having already sealed history with a maiden series win against India, buoyant Bangladesh will now look to complete a ‘Banglawash’.

Written by Daksh Panwar | Mirpur | Updated: June 24, 2015 11:43 am
India vs Bangladesh, Ind vs Ban, India Bangladesh, Bangladesh India, India tour of Bangladesh, MS Dhoni India, India MS Dhoni, Dhoni India Bangladesh, R Ashwin, Sachin Tendulkar, Cricket News, Cricket All smiles: Already having bagged the series, Mashrafe Mortaza (R) has plenty to be happy about ahead of the third and final ODI. MS Dhoni (L) after his training session. (Source: AP)

When Rubel Hossain ended Kyle Mills’ last-stand with an inch-perfect yorker one October evening at Mirpur in 2010, Bangladesh got more than just a historic 4-0 series victory against New Zealand. The country, and the cricket world, got introduced to a new word.

READ: ‘If my captain asks me to die on the field, I’ll do it’

As the Bangladeshi players celebrated like never before, Danny Morrison described it as a whitewash, only for the co-commentator Athar Ali Khan to correct the Kiwi by saying, “No, this is Banglawash.”

The term gained currency overnight, with all local dailies — Bangla or English — splashing it on their front pages in oversized red font and across eight columns the following day. It was as if the newspapers — and not New Zealand — were ‘BANGLAWASHED’.

READ: As new ball turns old, Mustafizur Rahman goes from novice to genius 

That was not the first series sweep that Bangladesh had completed. Before New Zealand, they had inflicted this ignominy on Zimbabwe, Scotland, Ireland and the West Indies (albeit a second-rung West Indies).

But this, coming against a major team, was huge. Perhaps, it was their biggest sporting achievement till then, along with the 2007 World Cup (where they beat India in the group stages to qualify for the Super-8s). It gave their fans enormous belief, and it also made them hungry for more. For more Banglawashes.

READ: Struggling for good spinner, India finds itself on a sticky wicket 

In fact, ‘hunger’ wouldn’t be the right word here. It’s lust. And of late, after doing so to Zimbabwe and Pakistan in the last eight months, it has morphed into an addiction, even. Ahead of the third ODI against India, this word is on the lips of everyone — fans, journalists, players and members of parliament. Their desperation for isn’t unlike that of a drug addict for a line of coke. They badly want to experience this high again. And now they have a sniff.

On Tuesday, when Bangladesh all-rounder Nasir Hossain was asked if there will be a clean sweep conducted, he replied, “Inshallah!”

Even the Indian team is aware of the threat, and the word. At the pre-match press conference when Ravichandran Ashwin was asked what the team was doing to avoid the “whitewash”, the off-spinner replied with a smile, “What’s a whitewash?” After the journalist corrected himself, Ashwin proceeded with the answer.

“It’s very important to put your best eleven on the park. Obviously, the three changes we made (in the last match) were because we looked to put the best eleven on the park. It didn’t work, but that doesn’t mean you blame the individuals or the people who made the changes. Hopefully, we will try and avoid a Banglawash,” he said.

It will be a considerable challenge. A bigger hurdle than India have faced in the recent past. For one, they seem to have no clue how to handle Bangladesh’s pace sensation Mustafizur Rahman. More specifically, how to play him when he returns with the old ball.

Ashwin left the media no wiser when asked how India were planning to counter the threat. “There isn’t a ‘counter’ as such. I mean what can we do? Can we kidnap him? No, we have to come out there and play some good and solid cricket and try and make sure we nullify him. He does bowl a good cutter, which is something we have to watch out for. We have to give him the respect as well. Respect is what is important in international cricket,” he said.

But India may be interested in this number. It’s not a big sample, but statistics suggests that in his first spell, the left-arm pacer Rahman is a markedly inferior bowler than what he transforms into when he comes back.

Over the first two ODIs, his combined first spell figures are: 9-0-59-1 (4-0-27-0 and 5-0-32-1). Pretty average, you would say. In fact, the one wicket that he took with the new ball was Rohit Sharma’s in the second match. And Sharma got out not to the deadly cutter but the relatively innocuous ball that goes with the angle, as he looked to go after the bowler without getting his eyes in.

But consider the corresponding number for Rahman’s latter spells: 10.2-1-34-10 (5.2-1-23-5 and 5-0-11-5). You read it right: Ten wickets in 10.2 overs. On the surface, it appears to be a Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde scenario, though two matches are too few to make an informed opinion. It could perhaps not even be a pattern but a mere aberration.

However, one thing that wouldn’t harm India is to make other bowlers earn their wickets. In both games, the team seemed to have seen off the danger when they were waylaid. On both occasions, the collapse was precipitated by a bowler who wasn’t Rahman. In the first ODI, Taskin Ahmed removed Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli in quick succession.

In the second, off-spinner Nasir Hossain dismissed the same set of batsmen, only Kohli before Dhawan this time. The wheels came off soon after.

One of the reasons for India’s struggle here has been Virat Kohli’s form. India’s finest ODI batsman since Sachin Tendulkar is having a torrid time against Bangladesh, of late. Before the World Cup quarterfinal in Melbourne, he was averaging 126.5 against the Tigers in six matches, with three centuries and two fifties.

Beginning March 19, the sequence of his four innings reads: 3, 1, 1, 23. He needs to find his form, if India are to deny Bangladesh what it most wants.

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  1. Dilshad Javeed
    Jun 24, 2015 at 3:44 pm
    I think in cricket game there is every thing possible. Today india will win the game. I agreed with the predictions of "superprediction" India will be today winner after losing 2 early games.
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    1. A
      Amit
      Jun 25, 2015 at 9:16 am
      Dhoni and his coterie group that includes R Ashwin, Kohli, Raina etc are only good at winning "fixed" maches!! Dhoni's guru N Srinivasan was a master-fixer (his son in law Meiyappan caught in fixing was no accident) who made sure his boys always won. Naturally, with guru Srini gone, our "captain-cool" is suddenly lost and doesn't seem to have a clue about winning matches. Dalmiya should re-build the entire team now and order a CBI enquiry to find the ugly truth about Dhoni & Co's involvement in match fixing.
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      1. R
        rumana galib
        Jun 23, 2015 at 11:27 pm
        Before coming bangladesh the main opponent of india was to face nerves...which they attained since wc2007...and now no indian can get rid of this...i hope shakib will be a heart breaker for india in next game...cause india is getting tremendous pressure from mustafiz...and everybody will keep him in head forgetting shakib's unplayable bowling in his day....
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        1. Nandeesh B
          Jun 23, 2015 at 9:14 pm
          I won't be surprised if India suffers a white wash Dhoni and his old coaching staff have won champions trophy, test match at lords and was ranked NO 1 in ODIs and was also termed favorites for winning the world cup. SO there is no conuous fault in the old coaching staff and Dhoni The new coaching staff under Ravi Shastri 1. India lost a test series against australia without even winning a single test match atleast Dhoni and his old coaching staff won a historic test match at lords 2. India lost a Triangular ODI series against australia and england and even there India didnt win a single ODI 3. India lost the number 1 rank in ODI side 4. Before Ravi shastri taking over as the team director, india were termed favorites for world cup but after that many people said india cannot even reach semi finals 5. India lost CWC semi final and you all know how Ravi shastri gave pre match semi final interview, he made a terrible ber there 6. Now a Banglawash So can anybody tell me what Ravi Shastri has done being the Team Director of India? under him India is still yet to win a single ODI and single test match India had the opportunity of winning test match against australia but he was unable to make his team grab 50-50 situations and lost the series Everytime he sits for an interview he always keep saying that we fought till the end during australia test series but did you win ? is my question... and even after 5 months he still keep saying that Only matches that have won make history not " matches that are fought, had it in their and in the end spilled it "
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          1. K
            kazi the
            Jun 24, 2015 at 11:21 am
            INDIAN AFTER GETTING THE PORITY GET BUSY WITH ADVERTISING WORLD , HAVE NO TIME TO PRACTICE LEARN NEW TACTICS DO ROMANCES,ONLY TIME TO COLLECT MONEY. WHAT MORE CAN BE EXPECTED
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