Himanshu Dubey

(Jagran Post Network): The razzmatazz of the opening ceremony left cricket fans all around the world in wonder, but the actual magic is yet to take-off, so  brace yourself up for riveting action on the pitch as cricket’s biggest stars are ready to switch on the best in them in contention to kiss the gold.

There will be co-hosts India and Bangladesh who will lock horns in World Cup opener at Shera-e-Bangla stadium in Mirpur. Both sides have tried and tested various team combinations in their warm-up games and will look to pick the best eleven possible.

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Graphics: 1983 Flashback

Team India is riding high on confidence as they go into the WC beating two good sides in the pre-tournament practice matches and with momentum on their side, India looks set get better of struggling Bangladesh.

If past is any guide, Team India skipper MS Dhoni will not take minnows Bangladesh lightly and will make sure India sustain their winning spree. It was the same tournament and the same opposition, which played party pooper to a star-studded Rahul Dravid-led side four years ago.

Bangladesh chased down India’s mediocre total and flushed them out of the competition only in the first round. An unexpected early exit from the mega event was disappointing for the fans and financial slap for the advertisers as well.

Dhoni has to come down hard at them and take revenge of the humiliation and shame Bangladesh inflected upon Team India in the previous WC.

Dhoni has worked out different permutations and combinations in the warm-up games and will look to bring them in full effect in the tournament. He has hinted to play in-form Virat Kohli ahead of Suresh Raina, while decision on the second spinning option is dicey, whether he chooses R Ashwin or Piyush Chawla is still to be seen. However, after two brilliant performances in the warm-up games, Chawla’s selection is almost on the cards.

Bangladesh, who are teemed with left-arm tweakers, will look to replay the script of 2007.

Theywalked over Canada with ease in their opening warm-up game while lost to Pakistan in the next. Star player Tamim Iqbal and Mohammed Ashraful will be instrumental for Bangladesh in scoring runs, while responsibility to pick up wickets will rest on the shoulders of left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak and pacer shafi-ul-Islam who is spearheading their bowling attack in absence of Mushrafe Murtaza.

Spin is going to play a very important factor in the match. India’s batting line-up is a formidable combo of experience and youth which is adept in playing spin but they need to be wary of Bangladesh’s surprise element that did them in last time around. Meanwhile, both teams will have to assess the conditions and pick the final eleven accordingly.
Team India will take the field on Saturday with prayers, hopes and expectations of every Indian backing them, now they will have to press the throttle and return Bangladesh the shameful favour.

However, as India is set to take on Bangladesh in the first Cricket World Cup 2011 match on Saturday, it received its first jolt after Indian pacer Ashish Nehra was ruled out from the first match.

According to sources, Nehra is not a part of the playing 11 due to a sore groin.

S Sreesanth is now expected to bowl along with Munaf Patel and Zaheer Khan in the crucial first match.

However, India’s Team Manager denied the report and said that a final call on the pacer’s fitness would be taken just before the match.

Teams:

India:
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt/wk), Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel, S Sreesanth, Piyush Chawla, R Ashwin, Ashish Nehra.

Bangladesh: Shakib Al Hasan (C), Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Junaid Siddique, Shahriar Nafees, Raqibul Hasan, Mohammad Ashraful, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Naeem Islam, Mahmudullah, Abdur Razzak, Rubel Hossain, Shafiul Islam, Nazmul Hossain, Suhrawadi Shuvo.

Match starts at 1430 hrs (IST).

 

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