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|Shakib Al Hasan||4.0||0||28||1||7.00|
|Shakib Al Hasan||7||7||1||0||100.00|
Bangladesh made it to the finals of the Nidahas T20 Tri-Series after an astonishing win against Sri Lanka. Emotions were overflowing as the veritable semi-final threatened to become a circus but thankfully the cricket was of a very high quality as well. Awaiting Bangladesh will be a familiar foe: India. Can Bangladesh channel some of their aggression and finally beat India in a T20 international? Does India have the depth to be able to win this series without having their best players on the park? An exciting final awaits us.
It may be the missing superstars but India has almost been an afterthought in this tournament. They have played their matches with efficiency and won them without fuss. The one match that they did lose was also without the added spice that Bangladesh-Sri Lanka encounters have had.
This is not to say that the final will be bland.
India and Bangladesh have a very fiery history as well. The ICC World Cup 2015 Quarter Final had the infamous Rohit Sharma ‘no-ball’ incident, the World T20 incident in Bangalore seems to have scarred Bangladesh deeply, and the players also keep going at each other on social media.
The fans of both nations are passionate and definitely don’t like losing to each other.
In the T20 format, India has never lost to Bangladesh as of now. They have come close but always managed to escape. We have a feeling, though, that this match could be the closest yet. India has done well in this tournament thanks to some useful runs from its top-order.
Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma will be key to the finals. Both of them are in-form and capable of putting the match beyond Bangladesh. Behind them, however, there is a distinct possibility of a batting collapse.
Suresh Raina seems intent on playing a very high-risk game at 3. He is followed by Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, Lokesh Rahul, and Vijay Shankar. None of these players are confirmed a place in the Indian side and can be put under pressure.
If India loses a couple of wickets early then this batting order could come apart.
The Indian bowling is not too much better either. Mohammad Siraj replaced Jaidev Unadkat but was very expensive. Will the Indian think tank stick with him in the final or go to Unadkat? We think the latter.
Shardul Thakur is nowhere near the class of Bumrah or Bhuvaneshwar Kumar. He is not going to worry the Bangladeshi batsmen too much. We also think he has started to become a little predictable with his knuckleball variations.
The Indian bowling will depend on Washington Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal to pick wickets and apply a brake on the scoring. Both of them have had an excellent tournament. They also did well against Bangladesh in the last match.
If they can repeat a similar performance in this match then India will be on its way to victory. If Bangladesh can see these two out without too much damage, though, then the tables may be about to turn.
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, SK Raina, Lokesh Rahul, Dinesh Karthik, Manish Pandey, Washington Sundar, V Shankar, JD Unadkat, YS Chahal, SN Thakur.
After suffering a series defeat at home against Sri Lanka, Bangladesh has recorded two brilliant victories over the hosts and made their way into the final. The dram and ill-tempered behavior surrounding the finish should not take away from a fantastic Bangladeshi performance.
While the credit for this victory will go to Mahmudullah for his brilliant 43 off 18 deliveries, the role that the Bangladeshi bowlers played up front should not be forgotten. Shakib Al Hasan returned from injury and took the new ball, something he could against India as well.
His two overs for 9 runs with one wicket were crucial to stop Sri Lanka from blazing away. Mustafizur Rahman was brilliant in his first spell, Mehidy Hasan Miraz bowled very economically, and even Soumya Sarkar was effective when needed.
For Bangladesh to stand any chance against India, a similar bowling performance is needed. India’s batting is not as strong as it usually is without Kohli and Pandya, and that is something the Bangladeshis should target.
Shakib has plenty of experience playing against India and could be the definitive player in this match.
Mushfiqur Rahim has been having an excellent tournament and now some other players have stepped up too. We loved to see Sabbir Rahman bat up the order. He is a destructive batsman that can win matches on his own. Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Sabbir Rahman, and Mushfiqur Rahim make for an excellent top-order.
It is also a top-order that can be explosive and match India for every run. Add the red-hot Mahmudullah and Shakib Al Hasan in the lower order and sudden this Bangladeshi team is looking quite formidable. The Bangladeshi batsmen will have hopefully learned from their defeats in the previous two matches to India and come with better plans.
Most importantly, though, Bangladesh has experienced a victory that will fill them with confidence. There has been talk of exorcising the ghosts of Bangalore in their last two victories against Sri Lanka, we don’t think those ghosts can truly be exorcised until Bangladesh defeats India in a match that counts.
This is that opportunity for them.
Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Sabbir Rahman, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Shakib Al Hasan, Soumya Sarkar, Mehidy Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Nazmul Islam.
The team winning the toss is likely to bat first unless a lot of rain is around
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The wickets offered in the tournament so far have been very good for batting. The spinners have started to get a little bit more from the surface but they have held up better than what most experts imagined. We expect to see a batting belter on offer for the final. Both teams have a strong batting lineup and we could have a high-scoring match. Some amount of rain has been predicted on match day but hopefully, it should not interfere too much with what should be an excellent final.
India has never been beaten by Bangladesh in T20 cricket. Bangladesh, though, will believe this is their best opportunity to correct that anomaly. They have beaten Sri Lanka convincingly and absolutely deserve their place in the final. We think it is going to be a close match but one where India’s experience will win out over the Bangladeshi passion.
Back India to win.