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Pumped-up India braced for Tigers challenge

General March 19, 2015

India's Suresh Raina dives to make the crease during the Cricket World Cup Pool B match against Zimbabwe at Eden Park on March 14, 2015Defending champions India look to tighten their iron grip both on the World Cup and on Bangladesh when the two neighbours meet in Melbourne for a semi-final spot Thursday. India have reached the quarter-finals with six wins in six pool games, bowling out the opposition every time. They have defeated Bangladesh 24 times since their first meeting in 1998 and have lost just three — although one of those came in the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean which led to India's early exit. Suresh Raina, whose unbeaten 110 helped India chase down Zimbabwe's 288-run target for a hard-fought six-wicket win in their concluding pool game in Auckland last weekend, says the Indians are ready to "express themselves." It's been a marathon buildup for India in defence of their World Cup crown, starting last November for their win-less Test and one-day matches in Australia.


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