India openers Ajinkya Rahane and Robin Uthappa during their 99-run opening stand against Bangladesh in the first ODI on June 15, 2014. (AFP)
Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim may feel that sans players like MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, it's almost India A touring Bangladesh; but the way the visitors chased a challenging 272 and eventually won the rain-curtailed first ODI via D/L method, Rahim was made to eat his words.
Bangladesh haven't won a single ODI this year and the trend continued at Mirpur on Sunday, where India beat the hosts by 7 wickets after rain threatened to undo their hard work but relented in time to allow them to cruise to the revised target of 150 in 26 overs.
Robin Uthappa and Ajinkya Rahane struck fluent half-centuries, with the former making a successful return to India colours after a gap of six years. Their opening partnership contributed 99 runs in quick time, putting India way ahead of the par D/L score when rain stopped play 16.4 overs into the run-chase.
Most of the work had been done when rain stopped and the re-worked target required India to score 50 runs more in 9.2 overs, which they achieved with seven balls to spare.
Bangladesh won't be unhappy with their batting effort; 272 was a decent total, thanks to half-centuries by skipper Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan, followed by cameos lower down the order. However, it was the bowling that let them down.
Veteran pacer Mashrafe Mortaza and Al-Amin Hossain failed to impress as Uthappa and Rahane went about their business without any trouble. Spinners Abdur Razzak and Mahmudullah also didn't ask much questions from the Indian batsmen who were always in control of the run-chase.
The hosts will also want an aggressive start from the top order comprising Tamim Iqbal and the two Haques - Anamul and Mominul. Bangladesh top three labored against disciplined Indian bowlers. While Tamim was dismissed for an 11-ball duck, Mominul scored just 6 from 17 balls, though Anamul recovered from an edgy start to make 44.
India, after enjoying a successful outing, will now be gunning for a series win by claiming a 2-0 lead on Tuesday, which won't come as a surprise considering Bangladesh's continued inconsistency and winless streak this year.
There are no batting worries with the opening slots filled by the in-form Uthappa and Rahane. Cheteshwar Pujara at No. 3 is a bit of a worry, though he was victim of a horrible LBW decision on Sunday. But Tuesday could be his last chance to press claim for the ODI squad for England. Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu finished off the first ODI calmly and looked in fine touch as well.
One slight worry could be in the bowling department. Mohit Sharma had a slight niggle and went off the field in the middle of an over. Though he returned to bowl again, there's a possibility that Vinay Kumar could take his place.
Spinners Akshar Patel and Parvez Rasool made their India debuts in the first ODI, but both proved expensive giving away 59 and 60 runs respectively. However, Rasool picked two wickets compared to Patel's one. Raina might think of replacing Patel with bowling allrounder Stuart Binny but may end up giving Patel another chance.
India would also want to give players like Kedar Jadhav a chance to prove their mettle but are expected to make those changes in the third ODI after putting a winning stamp on the series on Tuesday.
Not to forget weather remains a factor for the second game. Similar spells of rain, like the one that cut short the first ODI, are forecast for Tuesday - which means the teams wound want to field first and know what they have to chase in case D/L comes into play once again.