Bangladesh and Pakistan, two subcontinental cricketing giants, are gearing up for a duel that promises much more than just runs and wickets. Both teams, although drenched in recent controversies and marred by a series of defeats, carry hopes, aspirations, and the weight of nations expecting turnarounds. While Bangladesh hopes to salvage their pride after an early World Cup exit, Pakistan eyes a miraculous path to the semi-finals. In the grand theatre of cricket, where emotions often run as high as the scores, this match is a ticket to an unforgettable spectacle.
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Match Preview: Bangladesh vs Pakistan, ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 31st Match
ICC World Cup • 31 Oct, 2023 • 3,647 Views • ⭐ 5.0
Written by Anand Swami
The iconic Eden Gardens, situated in the heart of Kolkata, stands as one of the most celebrated cricketing venues in the world. Historically, this ground has been a haven for batsmen. The figures indicate this bias; an average innings score of 241 isn't just a statistic but a testament to the pitch's batting-friendly nature. Over the years, batsmen have thrived, playing their strokes freely on this wicket. However, as games progress, an interesting shift is observed. Spinners, with their guile and variations, begin to dominate, turning matches on their head.
Form Guide - Bangladesh
Bangladesh entered the World Cup on a wave of optimism, following an impressive third-place finish in the Asia Cup. Their momentum was further accentuated by a dominant win over Sri Lanka in a warm-up match. Early World Cup matches saw a commendable performance against England and a notable victory over Afghanistan. However, the winds shifted in their favour as the tournament progressed. A string of defeats, culminating in an unexpected loss to the Netherlands, highlighted the unpredictable nature of the sport and the challenges Bangladesh faced in the competition.
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Form Guide - Pakistan
Pakistan, a cricketing powerhouse with a legacy of unpredictability, began their World Cup campaign on a high note. Those initial two victories weren't just wins; they symbolized hope and set expectations. But cricket, often referred to as a game of glorious uncertainties, had other plans. Successive defeats, particularly at the hands of arch-rivals India and dominant forces like Australia, Afghanistan, and South Africa, highlighted chinks in their armour. The team that once stood tall, ranked top just a few weeks back, now seemed like a shadow of itself. Injuries coupled with form loss among key players further exacerbated their plight.
Players to Watch
Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh's talismanic all-rounder, despite facing a subdued World Cup, continues to be the linchpin of their side. His unexpected trip to Dhaka, presumably to refine his skills, became the talk of the town, drawing both praises for his commitment and concerns due to its timing. For Pakistan, Mohammad Rizwan emerges as the beacon of hope. He is not just another player; his performances often dictate the team's fate. After some scintillating innings early on, his recent dip is viewed with trepidation by fans, who ardently hope for a resurgence.
In light of recent team developments, Pakistan sees Fakhar Zaman returning to form, potentially seizing the opportunity created by Imam-ul-Haq's struggles. With Shadab Khan sidelined due to a concussion from the South Africa match, young talent Usama Mir may step up. Mohammad Nawaz's bowling concerns pave the way for batting all-rounder Salman Ali Agha. Meanwhile, Bangladesh briefly held their breath when its linchpin, Shakib, showed signs of discomfort from neck pain. However, after timely treatment and strapping, he's back, showcasing his resilience and readiness for the upcoming clash.
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Pitch and Weather Report
At Eden Gardens in Kolkata, the weather promises an exciting cricket match. Forecasts show warm, sunlit skies, with the mercury likely touching 32°C. Historically, the pitch at Eden Gardens has favoured batsmen, with high-scoring games being quite common. As matches progress, spinners, aided by the pitch's character, often come to the fore. Spinners might also find the expected 58% humidity advantageous. A mild breeze, blowing at approximately 8 kmph, should give players and spectators a bit of relief from the warmth. Considering the promising weather conditions and the pitch's reputation, fans should prepare for a full, thrilling game without any rain-induced interruptions.
Pakistan (Probable): Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam (capt), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Salman Ali Agha, Usama Mir, Mohammad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Abdullah Shafique.
Bangladesh (Probable): Litton Das, Tanzid Hasan, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Shakib Al Hasan (capt), Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mahmudullah, Mahedi Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Shoriful Islam.
The live streaming and telecast of PAK vs BAN will be accessible on Star Sports Network and Disney+ Hotstar for Indian viewers. In Pakistan, the game will be broadcast on PTV and ARY, while Gazi TV holds the rights for viewership in Bangladesh. The match, a part of the World Cup 2023 series, is scheduled to commence at 2 PM Local Time (IST), with the toss set for 1:30 PM Local Time (IST). For audiences in Pakistan, the game begins at 1:30 PM PKT, and in Bangladesh, it kicks off at 2:30 PM BST.
As the iconic Eden Gardens prepares to host this monumental clash, cricket enthusiasts are in for an exciting experience. Bangladesh and Pakistan are not just playing a game; they are fighting for their redemption and aiming to create a historic moment in their respective cricketing journeys. With every ball bowled and shot played, they will not only be chasing victory but also the respect and admiration of millions. This isn't just another cricket match; it's a tale of hope, passion, and undying spirit. So brace yourself for an unforgettable experience, as fireworks are guaranteed!
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