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|Shakib Al Hasan||9.2||0||44||1||4.71|
|Nazmul Hossain Shanto||7||14||0||0||50.00|
|Shakib Al Hasan||17||12||3||0||141.67|
India started the Asia Cup 2018 with a terrible performance against Hong Kong, a match they came very close to losing. It then followed it up with an absolute thrashing of Pakistan and will now hope to stay switched on for the Super 4 stage of the tournament. Their opponent for this match is going to be Bangladesh, a team that will be playing its second consecutive match in as many days.
Bangladesh disposed of Sri Lanka with ease to show that it is now the undisputed number three cricketing nation in Asia. Of course, Bangladesh will not be happy with just being number three and would want to beat India and Pakistan as well.
A rivalry of sorts has emerged between India and Afghanistan off-late with some unpleasantness on the field between the players too. Can Bangladesh raise its game and build on the excellent start it has had in the tournament or will India brush its Asian neighbor aside?
India will not be taking Bangladesh lightly. Partly because Bangladesh is a serious contender with some world-class players and partly because it has been beaten by Bangladesh often enough. It may seem like a lifetime ago but the last ODI series between the two teams was played in 2015 which Bangladesh won 2-1.
There was a huge improvement in India’s performance against Pakistan. They bowled with venom and incision and ensured that Pakistan did not reach any sort of competitive total. We don’t think India is going to change anything drastic with its bowling attack going forward.
Jasprit Bumrah was quick with the new ball, reaching speeds of close to 146 km/h and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar seemed to have found his groove after returning from injury as well. Both of them bowled tight lines to ratchet up the pressure on the opposition.
Both these bowlers bowl with the new ball and at the death thus providing them plenty of wicket taking opportunities.
Kuldeep Yadav was very good against Pakistan, showcasing his wicket-taking ability in the middle overs while Yuzvendra Chahal seemed to struggle a little on these dead pitches. Still, there is nothing to suggest that the pair of them have lost any incisiveness since being around on the international circuit.
Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, and Shardul Thakur have been ruled out of the tournament for India so one enforced change will have to be made. We think that Ravindra Jadeja should walk into the team at number seven in place of Hardik Pandya. He is a frontline bowler suited to these conditions, a gun fielder, and a useful lower order batsman as well.
Kedar Jadhav with his slow Malinga-esque off-spinners is becoming integral to the bowling attack as well.
The batting was in good form with runs for Dhawan, Rohit, Rayadu, and Dinesh Karthik. No change in the batting lineup is expected. We would continue to back the top-3 of this Indian batting lineup to get the bulk of the runs against Bangladesh as well.
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, JJ Bumrah, YS Chahal.
Playing two matches back to back is not easy especially when those matches are in different venues. That is exactly what Bangladesh will have to do, however. It has rested a few players for the match against Afghanistan but that is not a team that can be taken lightly either.
The worst-case scenario for Bangladesh would be a loss to both Afghanistan and India in successive matches, a result that will rob them off all the momentum built up in the tournament so far.
Bangladesh was very good against Sri Lanka with the ball. Each and every bowler contributed including Mashrafe Mortaza, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Mehidy Hasan, and Shakib Al Hasan. Abu Hider could get a look in against India because of his left arm angle and the fresh legs that he brings.
Whatever be the bowling attack, though, there is no question that Bangladesh has some real quality at its disposal. Mustafizur Rahman will be the bowler that the Indians will be most wary off but everyone will have a role to play in keeping the opposition quiet.
Shakib Al Hasan had some question marks raised over his fitness but the team would be hoping he is able to withstand the physical strain of playing in back to back matches.
The real question mark will be over Bangladesh’s batting. Mushfiqur Rahim played one of the best ODI innings by a Bangladeshi in the last match and rescued his team from a precarious position but that is not something that can be expected every single time.
India has three bowlers in the top-10 rankings for ODI bowlers in the world. They will come hard at Bangladesh and the team will have to find a way of combating them. The loss of Tamim Iqbal, one of the most consistent ODI scorer in the world over the last year, is a huge blow to Bangladesh.
It puts the onus on Litton Das and maybe Nazmul Shanto to start the innings well. Shakib Al Hasan at three is batting a position too far up for our liking but that is the way the team has lined up in the last few months.
Mohammad Mithun played a very good inning in the last match and there is no doubting the class of Mahmudullah either. If the batting can provide a good total batting first or has to chase a par total then Bangladesh can dream of upsetting India.
There is no doubt that Bangladesh has the talent in its side to win matches but this will be as much a test of their physical fitness as it is of their mental toughness.
Liton Das, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Mehidy Hasan, Mashrafe Mortaza, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman.
The team winning the toss is likely to bat first
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The match is going to be played in Dubai where the temperatures have been consistently in the late thirties to mid-forties. The pitch has been very slow and devoid of any kind of help to the bowlers. Even the spinners have not got much out of the surface because the spin is too slow off the surface.
The most effective kind of bowling has been straight at the stumps on a good length. The batters have to realize that this surface is not the best for strokeplay, although, it does start to become a bit better under the lights.
A score of around 270 is going to be a par total to aim for while batting first.
India is a very good ODI side and has been winning consistently around the world over the last couple of years. It will come into this match full of confidence and the belief that it can win this contest on most occasions. Bangladesh has to rely on individual brilliance and an especially bad day for India to pull off an upset.
Back India to win.
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