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Under-pressure India aim to draw level against Bangladesh

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Mirpur: With threat of a shocking series defeat looming large, under-pressure India under their beleaguered captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be aiming to come out all guns blazing as they meet an upbeat Bangladesh in the second cricket one-dayer here tomorrow.

After being comprehensively thrashed by 79 runs in the opening match of the three-match series, India for the first time are staring at the ignominy of series defeat against the proverbial minnows of world cricket in the backdrop of some unwanted controversy that resulted in skipper Dhoni being docked 75 percent of his match fees.

The road to redemption for Indian cricketers might just be a bit more tougher than what is expected as multiple factors stand in their way of clawing back to keep the series alive by restoring parity.

The first and foremost is Bangladesh’s performance of late. If anyone thought that making it to the last eight of the ICC Cricket World Cup was a fluke, they were proved completely wrong by Mashrafe Mortaza and his bunch of talented youngsters as they whipped Pakistan 3-0 at home.

The ‘Tigers’ once again roared as they crushed a full- strength India side fair and square in what was a lop-sided contest for the better part of the match.

The second factor which is also equally significant is skipper Dhoni — his form has not been great for quite some time and now the tag of ‘Captain Cool’ has taken a dent in the recent times.

Dhoni can consider himself very lucky that his ‘Level-2′ offence off shoving opposition debutant Mustafizur Rahaman did not result in a two-match suspension, which would have effectively ended the series for him.

More than parting with 75 percent of his match fees, Dhoni would just like to look back as to what exactly is going wrong with his batting. An innings of 85 in a win against a below-par Zimbabwe attack in the World Cup and a 65 while delaying the inevitable against Australia in the semi-finals have been his better contributions of late.

Statistics showed that Dhoni’s strike-rate against left-arm spinners has dropped down to around 66 in the four years post 2011 World Cup victory. More importantly, when a left-arm spinner is in operation, it takes him 32 balls to hit a boundary. No wonder he struggled against Shakib Al Hasan.

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