Bangladesh managed to brush aside all the doubts around them with the win at Delhi and now wait to clinch the series at Rajkot, even though the weather is eyeing to play spoilsport.
As the players have moved out of Delhi's air pollution, nature has greeted them with a cyclone at Rajkot. Bangladesh are aspiring to seal a historic series win against their neighbours, but it might all go in vain if the cyclone decides to stay on matchday ruining everything the first match initiated.
Bangladesh created a major upset for the Indian fans at Delhi when they dominated the hosts to win by seven wickets. Bangladesh managed to brush aside all the doubts around them with the win and now wait to clinch the series at Rajkot, even though the weather is eyeing to play spoilsport.
Bangladesh managed to secure the win with an inspiring performance from Mushfiqur Rahim and help from youngsters like Soumya Sarkar, Aminul Islam and Naim Sheikh. Mahmudullah Riyad perfectly marshalled the side on the field, and later on, played a cameo to finish the match. Bangladesh will need the same spirit to clinch the series at India's fortress, and if they win, the Tigers would be the first side ever, to win a three-match bilateral T20I series at the home of the Indians.
However, the weather is making all the headlines as the teams now wait for a cyclone to clear. Delhi's air pollutions were so inconsiderate that Soumya Sarker had to vomit, once the match was over. For this match, the teams wait for the cyclone 'Maha' which currently looms over the Arabian Sea but is likely to pass over Gujarat on Thursday afternoon. The weather has already turned worse as it started raining heavily on Wednesday. The authorities remain hopeful that the match would go on uninterrupted even if there are morning showers.
Soumya needs to continue, Liton must perform
Soumya Sarkar managed to play a well-paced and patient 39-run innings in the first match as he was pivotal in Bangladesh's victory. He managed to fill the hole left by Shakib Al Hasan. For Bangladesh to clinch the series, Soumya must continue. The major concern is his lack of consistency in recent years. For Bangladesh, he needs to continue on the good form he has shown because a good innings from him at the top of the order would be vital for the team to find their feet.
This is also true for Liton Das, who has been in and out of touch in his national team tenure. He went back in the first over of the first match with a shot which had indecision written all over it. This indecisiveness has brought his downfall throughout his career. Another failure to find runs and he might find himself on the bench.
A cyclone looming
With the match less than 24 hours away, there is heavy rain and wind in Rajkot as the effect of the cyclone 'Maha'. On a positive note, it has been said that this is the sign of the cyclone moving away from Rajkot. The city was under orange alert ahead of the storm.
The whole ground has been covered as a precaution and the authorities have said that the match will be played even if there are morning showers and no interruptions later on the day.
The weather prediction shows a mild possibility of rain during the game, but when a cyclone knocks on the door, the weather forecasts can just be thrown out the window.
Bangladesh's win against India in the first match of the T20I series meant that it was the fourth win for them in last five matches. Another win for the visitors would mean that this would be their second away series win in a row after their triumph against the Windies in the Caribbean in 2018.
India have won three and lost two in their last five T20Is, with them clean sweeping South Africa recently at home. But a defeat in the second match would mean they will be losing a three-match home series for the first time in their history.
Bangladesh are unlikely to bring in any changes after their commanding win at Delhi. But depending on the conditions and considering that the Rajkot pitch is completely barren of grass, changes can be made. If Soumya is used as a seam option, a spinner in Taijul Islam or Arafat Sunny might find themselves playing.
Probable Bangladesh Team: Liton Das, Naim Sheikh, Soumya Sarkar, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mahmudullah Riyad ©, Afif Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain, Aminul Islam, Al-Amin Hossain, Shafiul Islam, Mustafzur Rahman
India are likely to bring in some changes as some of their players looked completely out of sorts in the first match. KL Rahul might lose his place in the side to Sanju Samson. And Manish Pandey might be picked over Shivam Dube. India would also want to try a new bowling attack with Shardul Thakur in the lineup replacing Khaleel Ahmed.
Probable India Team: Rohit Sharma ©, Shikhar Dhawan, Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar
Former National opener Nafees Iqbal feels that it is tough for any team to play in India against India but it is not impossible to win. He said, "Playing against India in India is very tough, but if Bangladesh can bring out their A-game they can beat any side in the world."
He also added that any changes in the lineup could not be predicted without observing the pitch and the conditions.
Former National batsman Sanwar Hossain said that the win against India was the perfect tonic for the team in such difficult circumstances. "I do not think there could be any better tonic for the team than winning against India in India in such difficult situations," he said.
Sanwar added that India will definitely be under a lot of pressure and Bangladesh need to capitalize on that to seal the series. He added that one player cannot win a game against a side like India. "It is difficult for one player to win a game against India, but if the youngsters play well along with the seniors, the team can click and win," he added. He also said that players like Liton and Soumya needed good starts because once they were in their stride, they can change the course of the game quickly.