Tigers face off India amid severe air pollution in Delhi

Amid the severe air pollution in Delhi,

which plummeted to hazardous level and led to public-health emergency,

Bangladesh will start their India tour by taking on the hosts in the first of

three-match T20 series tomorrow (Sunday) at Arun Jaitley Stadium.

The match starts at 7.30 pm.

The BCCI had previously made it clear that the match would go ahead as

scheduled on November 3 even though the air quality issue was brought up by

environmentalists.

The game is indeed on despite the schools have been shut, construction

work stalled and athletic activities advised against due to the air

pollution. But, the two teams didn't complain officially and prepared them

for the battle.

The game is India's first International fixture after the Diwali when the

air pollution remains severe. However, when Bangladesh have no official

complain about the air quality issue, they seemed to be still in pain because

of Shakib Al Hasan's issue.

Shakib was banned for two years, with one year of that suspended after he

accepted three charges of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code.

Shakib, who became the first player in World Cup history to claim the

double of 600+ runs and 10+ wickets in a single competition this year, had

been set to captain the side and just last week announced that the country's

players were calling off strike action after working with the Bangladesh

Cricket Board (BCB) to reach agreement on a number of contractual and

structural issues.

Bangladesh will also miss the service of Tamim Iqbal and Seam, bowling

all-rounder, but their absence was not shocking. Tamim skipped the tour as he

and his wife is expecting their second baby while Saifuddin's absence is

injury related.

Such was the magnitude of Shakib's absence that Mushfiqur Rahim tried to

console the whole team by requesting them to mull his absence as injury

related. However, even the air quality issue couldn't sidestep Shakib's

issue.

We are looking forward to the series because anything can happen in

cricket. Shakib was injured before But, we played in the Asia Cup, so it

is okay, Bangladesh batsman Liton Das said.

We prepared well before coming here. We had a training camp back in

Bangladesh and then we also have a couple of days to train here. So, it is a

good opportunity to adapt. Shakib is the best player on our team and we are

going to miss him definitely, he added.

The three-match T20 series is indeed the both side's reparations for 2020

October's Men's T20 World Cup.

That Bangladesh is yet to learn the art of T20 cricket is evidenced in the

stats. The Tigers played eight T20 Internationals against India and lost all

of them.

But, they have something to cherish despite their poor T20 record. It will

be just the second time the two sides have met on Indian soil in the short

format, following India's dramatic single run victory in Bangalore during the

group stages of the 2016 World Twenty20.

Bangladesh was so close that time and they could expect to produce such

performance, specially when India is without some key players. Their captain

Virat Kohli was rested while the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya are

not playing due to injury.

Bangladesh who shared Tri-series T20 trophy with Afghanistan last month at

home den will take the field with a point to prove against a young Indian

side led by Rohit Sharma.

India will be looking to bounce back after drawing 1-1 with South Africa

in September's three-match series.

India is currently fifth ranked team in T20 cricket while Bangladesh

currently sits in ninth.

Bangladesh squad: Mahmudullah (captain), Liton Das, Abu Hider, Afif

Hossain, Al-Amin Hossain, Mossadek Hossain, Aminul Islam, Shafiul Islam,

Taijul Islam, Mohammad Mithun, Mohammad Naim, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mustafizur

Rahman, Soumya Sarkar, Arafat Sunny.

India squad: Rohit Sharma (captain), Khaleel Ahmed, Yuzvendra Chahal,

Deepak Chahar, Rahul Chahar, Shikhar Dhawan, Shivam Dube, Shreyas Iyer,

Manish Pandey, Krunal Pandya, Rishabh Pant KL Rahul, Sanju Samson, Washington

Sundar, Shardul Thakur.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)