About the Match
Hosts Bangladesh will take on India in the 1st Match of the Asia Cup on 24th February at Dhaka and will be eager to use the home advantage to start here on a winning note; the men in blue had a successful T20 series against Australia recently and will try to emulate that performance yet again. Bangladesh lost their last outing against Zimbabwe and will be determined to make a comeback; with the World T20 series round the corner, both teams will put up their best foot forward to boost the team’s morale.
MS Dhoni will lead the team consisting of batsmen like Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, who have been performing remarkably well in recent games; with Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh in the batting line-up, India looks well placed to dominate the Bangladesh bowlers here.
The pace attack will be spearheaded by Ashish Nehra, who impressed with his skills in the comeback series against Australia; he will have good support from youngsters like Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya, who are eager to help the team with their wicket-taking abilities and win matches. Harbhajan Singh brings his spin tactics to the table and along with in-form bowlers like Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, they could put up stiff challenges for the hosts on Wednesday.
They have a good variety and depth to the bowling attack with players like Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Pawan Negi and part-timers Yuvraj and Raina; if they can provide quick breakthroughs and the batsmen can focus on building strong partnerships then nothing can stop them from winning.
In the recent match against Zimbabwe, they suffered a humiliating defeat by 18 runs after the batsmen failed to chase a competitive target of 181 runs; players like Tamim Iqbal, Sabbir Rahman, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan and Imrul Kayes failed to build the foundation and it was left to Mahmudullah and others down the order to keep the scoreboard ticking. With wickets falling like a pack of cards, Bangladesh were all-out for 162 by the 19th over; earlier, the bowlers took regular wickets but they couldn’t make a dent on the opposition’s run-flow.
The bowling departments consists of Abu Hider, Arafat Sunny, Taskin Ahmed and the captain himself Mortaza; with all-rounders like Shakib and Sabbir Rahman in the squad, Bangladesh will try its best to overcome the hard-hitting Indian batsmen. Al-Amin Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman and others bring variety to the attack and they will need to combine well against a strong unit like India.
Overall, they are confident of opening their campaign with a win here; however, they should strategize well against top-order batsmen like Dhawan, Sharma and Kohli to break partnerships and stifle the run-flow with good variations and disciplined attack with the ball.
The T20 format of the game tests the perseverance of the players and they must put-up an all-round performance on the field with bat, ball and fielding to outwit the opponents. India have emerged as the winning side more often than not in the recent past. Although the contest could be well-fought, we feel India has a much more experienced team to be favourites here