ICC Champions Trophy: One last hurdle, big game against Pakistan - Rohit Sharma

India have won the toss and invited Bangladesh to bat first in the second semi-final of the Champions Trophy 2017 here on Thursday (June 15).

The nine-wicket demolition of Bangladesh exceeded even Virat Kohli's expectations but the skipper quickly played down the hype around the upcoming blockbuster Champions Trophy final against arch-rivals Pakistan.

The winners of this match will play Pakistan, shock eight-wicket conquerors of England, in Sunday's final at the Oval. With Rohit Sharma's phenomenal knock of 129* runs off 129 balls and Virat Kohli's magnificent 96* helped India to beat Bangladesh by 9 wickets and conquer the Semi-Finals.

India may be outright favourites in the Champions Trophy semifinals against Bangladesh but the defending champions will be under more pressure, former captains Mohammad Ashraful and Habibul Bashar said today. There are no guarantees in this sport as we have seen lot of surprises in the league stages.

The star batsman added: "Going into a big game like this, we're going to treat it as how we treated the last game. And our mindset does not differ", Kohli added.

Bangladesh outgunned New Zealand in their final group stage game with a brilliant fifth wicket stand between Shakib-al-Hasan and Mahmudullah seeing them home in a thrilling chase. They're really keen to win a lot of games at this level and that shows in their attitude. "They are a very unsafe side on their day and everyone realises that".

India defeated them in a controversial World Cup quarter-final two years ago and with two runs required from three balls, Bangladesh conspired to lose three wickets as they were eliminated by India from last year's World Twenty20. On Thursday, India will start the do-or-die clash as the favourites but they can not afford to be complacent against a resurgent Bangladesh who are no more minnows when it comes to limited-overs cricket. "You know, no one takes any opposition for granted, and Bangladesh have taken huge strides", Kohli complimented.

Bangladesh have suffered their fair share of heartache against India.

Luck also played a role with Bangladesh heading to nearly certain defeat against Australia until rain washed out the match. When we were young, we never thought that I would play 100 Tests and you 300 ODI matches.

"We always believe that our pacers can do well against India".

"The cricket we are playing, we deserve to be in the semis. And if we can consider this game as just another match we will be able to play more freely". "It happens sometimes in cricket, but we forget it".

  • Julie Sanders