CT 2017: The Semi-Final Battle

The second semi-final of Champions Trophy (CT) 2017 will be played at Birmingham between subcontinent neighbours, India and Bangladesh. While India have been consistent in their performances in history of CT till now, Bangladesh have developed their game in leaps and bounds. Ahead of the all-important clash, here are some important things to look out for.

India’s ICC record against Bangladesh:
When it comes to facing Bangladesh in the ICC tournaments, India enjoy an upper hand with a record of 5-1. The only time Bangladesh have beaten Team India was in the 2007 World Cup. Having entered the last four, Bangladesh would give their al, just as India. Bangladesh have been a side which has improved dramatically in the last few years and India would not take them lightly.

Virat Kohli’s great run:
After failing against Sri Lanka, Virat Kohli showed his true class scoring a classic unbeaten 76 against South Africa. In the 3 CT17 matches played so far, Kohli has scored 157 runs at a strike rate of 90.22, which shows he is hitting the ball well. Going into the semis, captain’s form will be crucial for the team’s success and the whole country would love if he comes out all guns blazing.

Spin duo again?
Ravichandran Ashwin played his first match of the CT17 campaign against SA and ended with impressive figures of 1/43 in 9 overs. The Proteas batsmen looked slightly vulnerable and the presence of Ashwin at the other end improved Ravindra Jadeja’s bowling as well. Jadeja gave only 39 runs and picked up the important wicket of Quinton de Kock. With the captain having a lot of faith on both spinners now, it will be interesting to see if both of them feature against Bangladesh.

Lack of game time for lower middle order:
India has lost just 11 wickets in the three matches, which does mean the lower middle order hasn’t spent considerable time in the middle. The trio of Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav and Ravindra Jadeja have scored just 54 runs till now. Having said that, if the top-order fails it will be the perfect opportunity for these guys to step up and be counted.

The Tamim Iqbal factor:
A good start makes following things simple! Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal, has been sensational in CT17 scoring 223 at an average of 74.33. Tamim has a strong record against India where he averages over 31, with a strike rate of 85.56. Having already scored 6 fifties against India in ODIs, Tamim would look to make this a big one and give his side every opportunity to win this crucial match.

Expect another crackerjack as these two Asian teams will give their all to progress to the final of Champions Trophy 2017.

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