Champions Trophy: Yuvraj Singh's contribution to Indian cricket outstanding, says Virat Kohli

Solenn Plantier
Juin 15, 2017

The last ICC tournament game played between the two sides was that unforgettable World T20 2016 group match, when India won sensationally, with Bangladesh unable to get a single run from the last three balls.

India topped Group B after impressively seeing off Pakistan and South Africa to advance to the last four, but the defending champions were given a wake-up call in between those wins when they were surprisingly beaten by Sri Lanka.

Bangladesh have long discarded their reputation as the whipping boys of elite worldwide cricket, particularly in the one-day format, and earned a first semi-final spot in a global competition with a thrilling win over New Zealand. Their future looks bright. For India, then, this is a stepping stone to the final.

"Once our batting line-up does well, we can get a big score".

But as if Pakistan's victory over England had not already exposed the folly of presumption, Bangladesh have a record that demands respect. Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza's had made it clear that Bangladesh would come into the game without anything to lose. Now they know they can win big games and fight back from tough positions. For the players, this is a hard-fought chance to show they belong at this level. That would be followed by some unnecessary, unsavoury incidents when India eventually went down to the West Indies in the semifinals.

"Winning against England [in the 2015 World Cup] helped us a lot". As we've seen in the league stages, a lot of teams have surprised the opposition, and we're certainly not taking anything for granted.

"After that, we beat Pakistan, India and South Africa".

"So this team has changed".

Bangladesh, in their three games so far, have scored a 300-above total twice, which is ample proof of their batting prowess. We don't know what is going to be the result, but once you play at your best, things change. The coaches support the players and don't drop them. With 20 overs of the New Zealand innings remaining, they were 152 for 2 with Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson well set.

"That's the thing", he explained. "Never give up on the ground". They are actually prepared if a crisis situation comes in. "On our day we can do anything, to be honest".

Might the pressure of the occasion prove a burden?

"They are a very risky side on their day".

India have Thursday won the toss and chose to field first in the second semifinal of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy against Bangladesh on a fresh looking wicket. "I think if everyone approaches the semi-final as just another match, it will be good for the team". And India has more pressure than us as the population is huge there and people love cricket a lot.

Now-exiled Ashraful also said pressure would be on India and added only one-two percent separates both the teams.

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