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ICC World Cup 2019: India vs Bangladesh: Kohli-Rubel duel has been a top draw

Rubel Hossain, second left, celebrates with team-mates after dismissing Virat Kohli during the 2015 World Cup quarterfinal in Melbourne.

Bengaluru, July 2: India will take on Bangladesh in their eighth match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 on Tuesday at the same ground where they lost to England by 31 runs on Sunday.

The former champions will be back in their original blue kit and their fans will hope that they return to their winning ways as well.

Virat Kohli's side has 11 points from seven games so far with five wins and one loss and it needs just a solitary point to march into the semifinals.

WC Special | Points Table | Fixtures

Bangladesh, on the other hand, have now slipped to the seventh position in the points table with seven points from as many games with three wins and have to win their remaining two games against India and Pakistan. A loss in any of the games will see them crashing out. Just like in 2015, Tuesday's clash is a virtual quarterfinal of sort for Mashrafe Mortaza's boys if they want to keep their World Cup dream alive.

Though statistics are heavily tilted in favour of India, the two Asian sides' rivalry in limited-overs cricket has been absorbing. Bangladesh have beaten India only five times in ODIs so far (they lost 29 times) but since one of those came on a big stage as the World Cup (2007), Bangladesh have always fancied their chances against India.

Kohli vs Rubel duel

Another factor that has made India-Bangladesh matches exciting is the rivalry between individuals. Tigers' wicket-keeper Mushfiqur Rahim posting controversial tweets when India lost a game in the T20 World Cup in 2016 is one such example. The other is the notorious on-field rivalry between India captain Virat Kohli and Bangladesh pacer Rubel Hossain.

Kohli and Hossain's rivalry dates back to the time when they were yet to become national cricketers for their respective countries. They had on-field rivalries as Under-19 cricketers and it continued after they became senior players as well. Rubel had dismissed Kohli in the 2014 Asia Cup after the latter scored a century.

However, in the 2011 World Cup in Mirpur, Kohli had taken on Rubel aggressively in a game that India had won comprehensively to avenge the 2007 shock. Kohli had hit a century in that match as well. The hostility continued in the knock-out game in the 2015 edition when Rubel got Kohli. On that occasion, the Indian batsman had chased a wide delivery to nick it to the wicket-keeper.

The pacer was ecstatic and made a wild celebration although Kohli decided not to reciprocate after Rubel was dismissed. May be he found it redundant since India won that game convincingly by 109 runs.

The stage is hence set for yet another India-Bangladesh encounter at the World Cup in 2019 and the two teams still feature Kohli and Rubel, respectively. However, while Kohli is in ruthless touch with five consecutive fifties in the tournament so far, Rubel hasn't played in more than one game and had gone for a lot of runs in that single outing he had against Australia (83 runs in nine overs).

Bangladesh coach Courtney Walsh said Rubel, despite his good recent form, hasn't found a place in the playing XI because of the team formation.

However, given Rubel's charged-up form when taking on India in the past, Bangladesh might unleash the 29-year-bowler one more time against the famed Indian batter and try to rattle a batting line-up which is much dependent on him.

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Story first published: Tuesday, July 2, 2019, 11:21 [IST]
Other articles published on Jul 2, 2019
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