Adelaide: On the eve of their Super 12 match in the T20 World Cup against India, Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan believes that the Rohit Sharma-led side are the favourites to win Wednesday's match and if his side win against the 2007 champions, it will be termed as an upset.
After being blown away by pace and bounce from South Africa's pacers in a five-wicket loss at Perth, India are seeking to get back to winning ways in the tournament when they will be up against Bangladesh in a crucial Group 2 match at a scenic Adelaide oval on Wednesday.
Bangladesh, on the other hand, are coming into the match after a nail-biting three-run win over Zimbabwe at Brisbane. In 11 T20I matches played between the two teams, India have won 10 times while Bangladesh have been on the winning side just once.
India is the favourite team
"India is the favourite team, they (have) come here to win the (T20) World Cup. We are not favourites and we didn't come here to win the World Cup. So, you can understand the situation and we know it very well.
If we can win against India, it will (be) called an upset. We will try to play our best cricket and try to make an upset," said Shakib in the pre-match press conference.
One of the biggest challenges for the Bangladesh bowling attack will be in stopping an in-form Suryakumar Yadav from getting another big score at Adelaide.
Suryakumar is number 1 for India
With 985 runs, Suryakumar is the leading run-scorer in T20Is this year and with his 360-degree style of playing, he scored a whirlwind 25-ball fifty against Netherlands and went to make a brilliant counter-attacking 68 against South Africa, especially when rest of the Indian batting order was decimated by the Proteas tall fast-bowling attack.
"Well, he's been playing really well for India. Probably their number one batsman in terms of record in the last one year. They got few world-class players which we need to look out for. We haven't done our team, bowling or batting meeting yet. So, we will talk about all those areas when we do our meetings. They got a phenomenal batting order which we have to overcome to be able to win or do something good," stated Shakib.
With the ball, Bangladesh's batters will have their task cut out against left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh, especially with him bowling with the new ball. "The first time I saw him during the IPL, he's bowling really well, especially with the new ball. He's showed a lot of maturity when there's obviously no Jasprit Bumrah. He's showing a lot of promise and is a great prospect for India," added Shakib.
Ravichandran Ashwin can wreak havoc
With four of their top six batters being left-handed, India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin can wreak havoc with his variations, owing to his formidable record of dismissing left-handed batters. Shakib remarked his team will come up with plans to counter the threat from Ashwin.
"As I said, we haven't decided our team and haven't done our meetings. Once we are able to do our meetings, we will be able to find out. There will be so many things to discuss and will come up with some plans."
India's spinner Sridharan Sriram is technical consultant of Bangladesh
Bangladesh's support staff also has former India left-arm spinner Sridharan Sriram as technical consultant. Sriram had served as the spin bowling coach of Australia and is also associated with Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL. Despite the side having mixed results in the tournament, Shakib had words of praise on Sriram's impact on the youngsters.
"I think he's done well since (the time) he came here. He has some specific plans that he wanted to work on. He's been good with the boys. Boys like the way he talks. I think we played under him, two-four or five-six matches, or maybe bit more than that. In this short term, he's done something very well for this young team and I hope he continues (to do so) for Bangladesh."