5:16 pm - Sunday May 23, 8376

Tigers eye series, India seek a comeback

10906339_416866278493890_1196873380020723868_nThe Tigers are in the form of their lives in the 50-over format, having posted nine consecutive ODI wins at home with the latest coming against India in the first match last Thursday. The visitors, in contrast, led by MS Dhoni, will be under tremendous pressure to save the series today.

A new-look Bangladesh team, oozing with confidence, will be looking to register their 19th series win, and 14th at home, when they face India today in the second and penultimate ODI at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.

Bangladesh ODI captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza will head into today’s game with the same team combination, including the inclusion of four seamers. India, expecting a barrage of spin from the home side, capitulated in the first ODI as the Tigers’ pace-bowling quartet accounted for eight of the 10 wickets to fall.

Youngsters Mustafizur Rahman and Taskin Ahmed have been a revelation for the Tigers in recent times and the duo will once again be expected to lead from the front today. Fellow pacemen Mashrafe and Rubel Hossain will provide valuable support alongside the dependable left-arm spin of ace all-rounder Shakib al Hasan. Bangladesh openers Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar, who smashed impressive half-centuries but failed to convert them into big scores in the first ODI, will be targeting yet another good start while the likes of Nasir Hossain and Sabbir Rahman will shore up the batting department in the latter stages of the inning.

The Tigers’ best batsman, Mushfiqur Rahim, however, is yet to find his rhythm in the ongoing bilateral home series. The diminutive wicket-keeper, who came into the series on the back of fine performances in the Pakistan series, was dismissed for 14 last Thursday so he will no doubt eye a significant score today.

On the other hand, Dhoni will have to figure out a different game-plan after failing big time in the first ODI. With the exception of spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, all the Indian bowlers were bite-less i