Rohit & Kohli sweat it out in nets for Bangladesh challenge in ODIs

DHAKA: With T20 World Cups taking place in 2021 and 2022, there was very little focus on ODI cricket. But now with the 2023 ODI World Cup less than 1-year, suddenly the format seems to have gained high significance in the lookout of teams and fans.

Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and KL Rahul are back as India prepares for the challenge from Bangladesh in the series opener on Sunday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium (SBNCS) in Mirpur, Dhaka after a young team went to New Zealand and lost the only ODI of the series with the next two matches being affected by rain.

The top three will once again be Rohit, Shikhar Dhawan, and Kohli for the ODIs against Bangladesh. The trio had played together in just 12 ODIs since the 2019 World Cup.

It's unclear whether Rohit and Dhawan, India's opening duo, will be able to get off to a fast start in the first ten overs and whether Kohli will be able to continue his hot T20I form in a game where he has a history of dominating chases.
The middle order of India will also be under scrutiny, particularly the batsmen at positions four, five, and six. Rahul gained prominence in the middle order by outstanding performances, and Shreyas Iyer has routinely impressed in the little opportunities that have come his way in the absence of the format's most famous players.

Even his most ardent supporters will acknowledge that Rishabh Pant provides a left-handed middle-order option, but that he needs to score huge runs against Bangladesh to remain competitive, especially with rivals like Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson (who is not a part of this series).

The preferred bowlers for the spin combination are Axar Patel and Washington Sundar. Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, Deepak Chahar, Kuldeep Sen, and Umran Malik are contenders in fast-bowling. Watching the balance that India chooses for the ODIs in Bangladesh should be interesting.

However, Bangladesh will be without Taskin Ahmed due to a recurrence of a back injury and regular ODI skipper Tamim Iqbal due to a groyne issue. In place of an experienced opener and pacer, stand-in captain Litton Das will need to make the most of his available tools.

Senior players like Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, and Mahmudullah will need to step up to fill the positions that Litton, who shone with 63 against India in the T20 World Cup in Adelaide, needs them to do. It will be expected that individuals like Afif Hossain, Yasir Ali, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, and Anamul Haque will intervene and save Bangladesh from difficult circumstances.

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