Following that thumping eight-wicket victory over Pakistan, the Rohit Sharma-led Indian team is taking on a struggling Bangladesh side in their first ‘Super 4’ fixture of this Asia Cup at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Friday. In this round, all four teams will play each other once and in the end, the top two teams in the point’s table will advance to the grand finale on September 28.
Going into this game, the defending champions need to revisit its team combination following Hardik Pandya’s lower-back injury, which has ruled him out of the tournament. Also, along with Pandya, there have been injury concerns with Shardul Thakur and Axar Patel and both have been sent back home. The selectors have sent Deepak Chahar, Ravindra Jadeja, and Siddharth Kaul as the replacements of the trio.
It is highly unlikely that the Indian think-tank will compromise the batting strength of the team in order to keep their three pacers and two spinners combination. Both Chahar and Kaul are decent bowlers but with bat in hand, they are not capable enough to fit into Pandya’s place. Hence, it seems Ravindra Jadeja, who hasn’t played an ODI since June last year, is most likely to make a comeback. The rest of the XI will be the same which beat Pakistan on Wednesday.
This also means the likes of KL Rahul and Manish Pandey still have to wait for their chances to prove their worth.
However, Bangladesh, who have suffered a huge defeat against Afghanistan on Thursday night, are handicapped due to the injury to his key batsman Tamim Iqbal. The opener, who heroically batted with a broken wrist at No. 11 in the tournament opener against Sri Lanka, has returned home. His replacement is 20-year old Nazmul Hossain Shanto, who made his debut against Afghanistan last night and scored only 7 runs.
Nevertheless, there are injury concerns with Mushfiqur Rahim as well. He was rested for the Afghanistan game but will play in the important fixture against India. Premier pacer Mustafizur Rahman too make a comeback in the playing XI after being rested in Abu Dhabi.
It is harsh on Bangladesh that they are getting less than 12 hours of recovery time before taking the field once again for an important fixture. But being a professional team they have to adjust to this cramped schedule.
Rest assured, whether it is India or Bangladesh, there will be no shortage of the intensity in their approach today.