Confident Bangladesh take on tournament favorite India in the opening super four match of the ACC Asia Cup scheduled to be held on Friday at Dubai International Cricket Stadium in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The match kicks off at 5.30 pm.
After a thumping victory over Sri Lanka in their tournament opening match, the Tigers aim to carry on their winning streak in their remaining matches and one can’t deny the fact that the Tigers have transformed into a quality 50-over side, a format they have mastered after a formidable run at home besides reaching the Asia Cup final in 2012.
Under the great inspiration of Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and seasoned campaigners like Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah Riyadh, the team has the potential to go all the way.
With two quality pacers Mustafizur Rahaman and Rubel Hossain in the squad backed by the experience of Mortaza and Shakib on a slow deck, India could find run scoring difficult in the middle overs.
Moreover, Bangladesh is being forced to play back-to-back matches in Abu Dhabi (vs Afghanistan on Thursday) and in Dubai (vs India on Friday).
This wasn’t the original schedule, but the BCCI had managed to arm twist the Asian Cricket Council in tweaking it, causing a lot of heartburn. On the other hand, Rohit Sharma’s Team India, who beat their arch-rival Pakistan by eight wickets on Wednesday, will be looking forward to continue their winning run against Bangladesh.
For India, the worry will be the team combination as Hardik Pandya has been ruled out of the tournament owing to back spasms and Bhuvneshwar Kumar might be rested after back-to-back games against Hong Kong and Pakistan. Young left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed may come in place of Bhuvneshwar but it is still not clear as to who would be Pandya’s replacement. Deepak Chahar has been named as the replacement player but it is unlikely that he will be drafted straightaway into the playing XI.
Manish Pandey can add batting depth and looks like a possible addition in the middle-order, while Kedar Jadhav’s off breaks are more than handy and he is expected to take care of Pandya’s quota of overs.
Openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan were amongst the runs in the first two matches while Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik looked solid against Pakistan.
However, veteran Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s batting form could keep the team management worried as he hasn’t been firing and it will be interesting to see if Rohit promotes him in the batting order to give the 37-year-old enough time to settle down.
Bangladesh: Masrafe bin Mortaza (captain), Shakib Al Hasan, Mohammad Mithun, Litton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Ariful Haque, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Nazmul Hossain, Mehidy Hasan, Nazmul Islam, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman and Abu Haider.
India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wk), Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja, Siddharth Kaul, Deepak Chahar.