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India vs. Bangladesh World Cup quarter final runs & wickets bets

Quarter Final 4 – 2:30pm AEST on Thursday, March 19, 2015 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground

India – $1.15 at CrownBet
Bangladesh$5.50 at WilliamHill.com.au

India will resume their ICC Cricket World Cup title defence this Thursday when they take on Bangladesh in front of what should be a packed house at the MCG.

The reigning champions topped Group B in very convincing fashion, dispatching the likes of South Africa, Pakistan and the West Indies to win all six of their league games and gain the top seeding for the quarterfinal draw.

Virat Kohli has been right at the heart of the Indians’ unbeaten campaign, with 301 runs to his name thus far, but it is the welcome return to form of Shikhar Dhawan that has really set the tone.

Having struggled for runs during the recent Test tour and ODI series in Australia, the opener’s place was in doubt coming into the tournament. But Dhawan has repaid the selectors’ faith in spades, smashing two centuries – including a brilliant 137 against South Africa – to sit seventh on the World Cup runscoring charts.

Perhaps even more important for India has been the somewhat surprising potency of the pace attack. Mohammed Shami sits second on the overall wicket-taking ladder with 15 scalps, while fellow seamers Umesh Yadav and Mohit Sharma have contributed 10 apiece.

The quicks have meshed very nicely with the more familiar slow bowling of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, whose combined pressure has yielded 19 wickets while keeping India’s reverse run rate to just 4.7 per over (second only to New Zealand).

With all that to negotiate, it seems a tall order for Bangladesh on their first trip to the World Cup knockout stages – especially in front of a sellout crowd of 95,000+ at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the vast majority of whom will be decked out in blue.

However, the nation once known as East Pakistan knows a thing or two about producing earth-shaking upsets on the big stage. Indeed, one of their greatest achievements to date was a shock win over India in the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies – one of three ODI victories against their subcontinental neighbours.

And it’s not as though the Bangladeshis haven’t turned it on already in 2015. It was they who ended England’s campaign with a 15-run triumph in Adelaide, and they almost backed it up a few days later in Hamilton when they pushed an unbeaten New Zealand side right to the wire.

Vice-captain Shakib Al Hasan was among the Tigers’ star performers when they defeated India in the Caribbean eight years ago, and he believes his side will have to play without any fear of failure if they wish to replicate that famous win on Thursday night.

“I think we played fearless cricket [when Bangladesh beat India in 2007] and we all want to play that brand of cricket that we played,” the star all-rounder said at a press conference on Tuesday.

“And, so far in this World Cup, I think we’re doing it. If we do exactly what we did against England or New Zealand, I think we’ll have a very good game.

“It depends on the day, we need to start well. Whatever we do and if we keep doing that and we keep the momentum in our favour then anything is possible.”

Team news and injuries

– Mushrafe Mortaza, the Bangladesh captain, missed the final group match after being fined 40% of his fee because of slow over rates during his side’s victory over England. The 31-year-old pacer, who wears a knee braces while playing to help combat years of injury woe, is also said to be nursing a calf problem. If Mortaza doesn’t pass fit, Taijul Islam should retain his place in the Tigers’ attack.

– The Indians have named the same line-up in five of their six World Cup matches so far (Bhuvneshwar Kumar got a run in place of Shami in the group game against the United Arab Emirates). With no major fitness or form concerns to speak of, expect another unchanged XI.

Possible teams

India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (C), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohit Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav

Bangladesh: Mushrafe Mortaza (C), Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Soumya Sarkar, Mahmudullah, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Sabbir Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed

Match predictions

Result: India to win – $1.15 at CrownBet.com.au

Highest opening partnership: India – $1.54 at Sportsbet

Most match sixes: India – $1.50 at Bet365

With all due respect to Bangladesh and their superb efforts so far at the 2015 World Cup, this is India’s match to lose. The sheer power of Dhawan and R Sharma at the top makes them a pretty solid bet to conjure a big first stand, whether batting first or chasing a total, while the flair and skill of Kohli, Raina, Rahane and MS Dhoni in the middle order puts them in good stead to clear the fence more often than the Tigers, too.

Top match run-scorer betting

India

Shikhar Dhawan ($4.50 at www.Luxbet.com) – India’s leading run-getter in the group stage should be your first port of call. Dhawan was at his explosive best when he blasted South Africa round the ‘G a few weeks ago, and you wouldn’t bet against him treating a far less celebrated Bangladeshi pace attack in much the same way. At $4.50, this is a must.

Rohit Sharma ($4.33 at Bet365) – He’s taken a back seat to his partner in crime so far, but we all know the kind of devastation this mercurial figure can wreak. And think about it this way: if Bangladesh bat first and are bundled out cheaply, Sharma and Dhawan may well be the only Indian batsmen to get a hit.

Bangladesh

Mahmudullah ($5.00 at Bet365.com.au) – Having racked up impressive centuries against England and New Zealand in his last two starts, the number four is the obvious danger-man in the Tigers XI. If Bangladesh get anywhere near it on Thursday, Mahmudullah will surely be one of the culprits. And also – $5 odds for a guy who has outscored every Indian batsman in the tournament? Absolute bargain.

Tamim Iqbal ($5.50 at CrownBet) – Sticking with the idea that openers are more likely to put up the big numbers, this guy is just about ripe for a major contribution. His 95 against Scotland remains the only knock of note thus far, but hear us when we say that Iqbal is a very serious threat to any bowling attack when he gets going. All he needs is a start.

Top match bowling tips

India

Ravi Ashwin ($4.50 at Luxbet) – Capable of clinical accuracy and cunning variation in equal measure, Ashwin has taken 12 World Cup wickets and is the dominant force in his spin partnership with Jadeja. If the Bangladeshi middle order tries to break the shackles with some forced hitting, this man is the most likely to benefit.

Mohammed Shami ($3.75 at William Hill Australia) – The 25-year-old has led the Indian attack with great vigour in his five World Cup starts. Only Mitchell Starc has taken more wickets in the tournament thus far, and more of the same enterprise and energy should see Shami build on his tally of 15 victims in Melbourne on Thursday.

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