India are flexing their muscles and look as though they might be able to defend the title. Playing with energy, urgency and purpose, they have rattled off seven wins in a row to march into the semifinal where they will meet either Australia or Pakistan.
It was an impressive win even though Bangladesh’s overall performance was underwhelming. After conceding 300-plus runs, Bangladesh were always going to find it hard to win as no team has scored 300 or more batting second at MCG. Their track record against India also suggested they would struggle. India have won 25 of the 29 encounters with Bangladesh winning only four times.
The return to form of Rohit Sharma will be pleasing for the team. He crafted a beautifully-composed 137 from 126 balls that was mixed with some subtle strokeplay and power hitting. He is a fine touch player with beautiful hands – a flick of the wrist and he can send the ball racing to the boundary.
He will be pleased with this performance because his previous record against Bangladesh is unimpressive, 14 runs in five innings. On Thursday, he delivered in style and dominated the hapless bowlers.
The form of Virat Kohli must be a concern for India. He was expected to be the key run-maker but he has not delivered and is being upstaged by Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit and Suresh Raina.
Kohli has immense talent and maybe his day will come in the semifinal. His lack of runs has given Raina a chance to stamp his mark. He did that with a fine century against Zimbabwe and his 65 on Thursday means he is a great asset.
The Bangladesh fielding was shabby with misfields and overthrows that proved costly. There is no excuse for poor fielding at this level. Their bowlers tried hard but lacked the pace and direction to unsettle Rohit and Raina and runs flowed easily.