India will start their Asia Cup Super Four game as favourites after winning both their group games, while Bangladesh beat Sri Lanka comprehensively but then lost by 136 runs to Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, the Tigers will have to recover fast from the loss and regroup themselves for a tough challenge. Not easy, but that’s how it is, and Mashrafe Mortaza’s men must do what it takes to be ready for the big test against India.
For Bangladesh, the big hole in the line-up is the missing Tamim Iqbal. The opening batsman fractured his wrist in the game against Sri Lanka and is out of action. Nazmul Hossain, who opened in his place in the match against Afghanistan lasted just 13 balls. However, that shouldn’t count against him as the entire batting line-up faltered, totaling only 119 runs in 42.1 overs.
The return of Mushfiqur Rahim in the squad, who scored a match-winning hundred in the first game of Asia Cup will bolster their batting unit. The onus will be on him and Shakib-Al Hasan to lead the team from the front.
India are looking good. There’s no Virat Kohli, and three others – Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, and Shardul Thakur – have returned home with injuries, allowing a comeback for Ravindra Jadeja and Siddarth Kaul, and an opportunity for Deepak Chahar to play one-day international cricket.
But the core of the team, bar Pandya, is the same as it was in the games against Hong Kong and Pakistan, and that should mean no significant worries for Rohit Sharma, the stand-in Indian captain in Kohli’s absence. India have been dominating so far in the tournament, and that’s the performance they will have to carry on against Bangladesh.
Pitch & Conditions
Hot and humid – that has been and is likely to be a constant for the Asia Cup. The temperatures before sundown will be in the early 40s and going down only marginally in the evenings.
But run-scoring hasn’t been too harsh, especially for teams batting first. This will likely be the case for the team winning the toss, put up a good total and keep the opposition out under the baking sun for 50 overs.
KL Rahul’s omission has come as a bit of a surprise, considering he was the first choice No.4 in the three-match series in England. But his returns were rather ordinary there – 0 and 9 in the two games he played.
With Dinesh Karthik getting a good hit against Pakistan, it looks unlikely that Rahul will break into the XI yet.
Probable XI: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah
Mushfiqur Rahim and Mustafizur Rahman got rest against Afghanistan, perhaps keeping the Super Four game in mind against India. Debutant Abu Hider Rony’s bowling show against Afghanistan makes the decision for the India game a bit tougher, but in all likelihood, Mustafizur should be back.
Mushfiqur too will return, in the hope of bettering his Asia Cup opening day epic of 144.
Probable XI: Nazmul Hossain, Liton Das, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Mehidy Hasan, Mashrafe Mortaza, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman
India are in all likelihood the favourite in the Asia Cup Super Four game against Bangladesh. They are coming from the back to two consecutive wins and will be keen to continue that effort. On the other hand, Bangladesh needs to regroup fast and are capable of upsetting the big guns.
However, considering recent forms, India will probably win this Asia Cup encounter hands down.