10th ICC Cricket World Cup kick-started day before yesterday with glittering opening ceremony in the capital city Dhaka of Bangladesh. Opening ceremony was fantastic and now its time for real battle.Real battle between 14 teams of the World Cricket is going to start today at Mirpur where India face Bangladesh in ICC World Cup 2011 opening game.
Team India is going in this match with an intent of revenge. In 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup, Bangladesh defeated India which became the reason of India's ouster from the last World Cup and those cruel memories are still alive and burning in the mind of Indian team and fans. I believe this memory will motivate them to crush the Bangladesh this time but Team India must not forget Bangladesh is not as weak as it was in last World Cup. They are now formidable side and in home conditions they are far more dangerous. So India have to plan well against the Bangla tigers and have to execute those plans with success. Any falter in execution can cost defeat to India. So Team India have to be careful and play with full intensity in-order to beat Bangladesh.
India's biggest strength is its batting line-up which is probably best in world at the moment atleast on paper but major concern for India is the form of Yuvraj Singh. Sachin Tendulkar is also looked rusty in practice game and that happened because Sachin has played only 2 ODIs since March 2010 and that can prove negative for Team India but I believe Sachin is very big player and he can adjust to any format of the game easily and that can give some solace to Indian fans. Another big worry for India is the bowling especially pacers have not done well in last two practice games and that is bit cause of concern. But I feel with the return of Zaheer Khan the same pace bowling attack will look far more effective. India possess very good spin attack and they have far more variety in the spin department compare to other teams in the tournament and I feel India have to go with 2 pacers and 2 spinners instead of 3 pacers and 1 spinner because conditions certainly favour more to the spinners and Piyush Chawla also showed great form and control with the ball in practice matches. Moreover, Indian attack will also get variation with the inclusion of Chawla as India will be having off-spinner in Harbajan, left-arm spinner in Yuvraj and leg-spinner in Piyush Chawla.
Virat Kohli is in great form and he is consistent as well but I believe India must go with Suresh Raina atleast in this match because Bangladesh possess 4 left-arm bowlers and left-hander is the ideal choice against left-arm spin as it is easy to play incoming ball and most importantly Raina is struggling against the pace and bounce and Bangladesh don't have out and out fast bowlers and rely heavily on spinners, so my choice would be Raina for this match.
Talking about about Bangladesh, I believe they are no more minnows atleast in ODIs. They have improved a lot in shorter format of the game in last 2 years. They are coming in World Cup with great 2010 under their belt in terms of performance and now it is tough to beat them at home because opposition not only have to face 11 players but also 30000 passionate Bangladeshi fans who will be cheering their team throughout the match. Who can forget Bangla players white-wash series win over New Zealand last year at home when they beat Kiwis 4-0 and decline of New Zealand cricket started from that series. Player to watch from Bangladesh point of view is Tamim Iqbal. He opens the bating and in tremendous form as well. Who can forget his great innings against India in last World Cup where he tore apart Indian bowling and threw India out of the World Cup in first round itself.
Bangladesh also have good captain in Shakib Al Hasan who is among Top 10 all-rounders of the world in ICC rankings. He is very good captain and whatever success Bangladesh achieved in last 2 years must be credited to Shakib. As a captain he leads his team from the front and always present great example with his performances. He is very clever left-arm bowler and very capable batsmen and he is dangerous cookie for Team India in this encounter. Bangladesh although don't have any big names in their bowling department except Mashrafe Mortaza who can be dangerous on its day but spin bowling is the strength of the Bangladesh team and in home conditions this bowling attack becomes more lethal. Spinners like Abdur Razzak, Mahmudullah, Sahkib Al Hasan are deadly dangerous and capable of dismissing any batting line-up cheaply atleast in home-conditions.
Bangladesh is also great fielding side and they are much better fielding side compare to Team India and that makes them more dangerous. I think today mouth-watering contest is in offer and India have to be careful. At the same time have to attack Bangladeshi bowlers. If India have to wipe out cruel memories of last World Cup then they have to beat Bangladesh at any cost but it will not going to be easy as Bangladesh is equally capable of winning this encounter. It is important for Sehwag and Tendulkar to give solid platform to Team India if these two stalwarts bat well then I believe India have great chance of beating Bangladesh.