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Asia Cup: Bouyant India wary of party poopers Bangladesh

Last updated on: September 20, 2018 16:12 IST

Bangladesh are now a quality side in ODIs, a format they have mastered after a formidable run at home besides reaching the Asia Cup final in 2012.

India players celebrate a wicket

IMAGE: India's players celebrate a wicket against Pakistan in the Asia Cup Group A match on Wednesday. Photograph: ICC/Twitter

After a convincing victory against Pakistan, India will look to up the ante against Bangladesh, who have a penchant for playing the party poopers, in their opening Super Four encounter of the Asia Cup in Dubai on Friday.

 

For India, the worry will be the team combination as Hardik Pandya has been ruled out of the tournament owing to back spasms, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar might be rested after back-to-back games against Hong Kong and Pakistan.

The pull-outs of Axar Patel and Shardul Thakur further compounded India's injury woes.

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.

Ravindra Jadeja has come in for Axar while Siddharth Kaul has been flown in as reinforcement for Shardul, the BCCI confirmed on Thursday.

Deepak Chahar is being sent as the replacement player for Pandya but it is unlikely that he will be drafted straightaway into the playing eleven.

Manish Pandey or KL Rahul could some add batting depth and one of them looks a possible addition in the middle-order, while Kedar Jadhav's off breaks are more than handy, and he could 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.

It is Mahendra Singh Dhoni's batting form that could keep the team management worried.

IMAGE: Bangladesh’s Mushfiqur Rahim celebrates his hundred against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup. Photograph: ICC/Twitter

Dhoni hasn't been firing and was out for a duck against Hong Kong. It will be interesting if Rohit promotes him in the batting order to give the veteran time to get settle down.

While India's rivalry with Pakistan is historic, the one against Bangladesh has been a bitter one post the controversial 2015 World Cup quarter-final at Melbourne.

However, one can't deny that Bangladesh are now a quality side in ODIs, a format they have mastered after a formidable run at home besides reaching the Asia Cup final in 2012.

Under the inspirational Mashrafe Mortaza and seasoned campaigners like Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmydullah Riyadh, the team has the potential to go all the way.

With two quality pacers in Mustafizur Rahaman and Rubel Hossain backed by the experience of Mortaza and Shakib on a slow deck, India could find run scoring difficult in the middle overs.

The Bangladesh team and its media's perception of India being the proverbial big bully adds a dash of excitement to the contests.

Bangladesh have been forced to play back-to-back matches against Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi on Thursday followed by the clash against India in Dubai 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.

''Even if we win against Afghanistan (on Thursday), we will be tagged as second in group and will have to travel to Dubai tomorrow after playing in Abu Dhabi today,'' Mortaza had said on the eve of the Afghanistan game, on Tuesday.

Teams:

India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wk), Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed, Siddharth Kaul, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar.

Bangladesh: Masrafe Bin Mortaza (captain), Shakib Al Hasan (vice-captain), Tamim Iqbal, Mohammad Mithun, Litton Kumar Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Ariful Haque, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nazmul Islam Apu, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Abu Haider Rony.

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