Colombo, Sep 14: Having already qualified for the Asia Cup final, a confident India could try out new combinations and give game time to players on the bench when they face an already out-of-contention Bangladesh in the Super Four match of the competition here at the R. Premadasa Stadium, in Colombo, on Friday.
With the Men’s ODI World Cup now less than 30 days away, India and Bangladesh will be keen to see how the players who haven’t got to play would fare in various situations that could happen in Friday’s match.
From an Indian perspective, the Asia Cup has seen the majority of the players click well. Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli have scored big runs. Ishan Kishan has shown that he can be a flexible batter by making runs in the middle-order.
K.L. Rahul and Jasprit Bumrah have been very excellent in their displays with bat and gloves and ball after recovering from injuries. Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja, along with Hardik Pandya’s all-round prowess, have been great with the ball, ensuring that India tick many boxes ahead of the mega event at home.
What India would ideally want is how Shreyas Iyer fares with the bat and while fielding, after being ruled out of action before the Super Four match against Pakistan due to back spasms. But in the practice session on Thursday, Shreyas did his batting practice, though the team think-tank would be wary of rushing him into action.
Players like Mohammed Shami, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma and Prasidh Krishna can fancy some game time so that India can test their readiness in case they are needed in a dire situation. Someone like Axar Patel can be expected to put up a better bowling show in a year where his numbers in that aspect haven’t been great.
From a Bangladesh point of view, they will be playing without wicketkeeper-batter Mushfiqur Rahim, who has been granted extended leave to be at home following the birth of his second child. It has been a tournament where Bangladesh have been majorly unable to field a full-strength eleven due to injuries and illness.
Tamim Iqbal and Ebadot Hossain were ruled out due to back and knee injuries, while Litton Das missed the league stage due to viral fever. Then, Najmul Hossain Shanto, who made 89 and 104 in consecutive matches, was ruled out after suffering a hamstring injury.
With no Mushfiqur, Litton could keep wickets as Bangladesh would aim for a strong batting show, which has eluded them on many occasions in the competition, against a formidable Indian bowling line-up.
India’s batters would keep an eye out for facing the left-arm spin of captain Shakib Al Hasan and all-rounder Mehidy Hasan Miraz, who was their chief tormentor in a stunning all-round display during last year’s bilateral series in Dhaka.
India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav and Prasidh Krishna.
Bangladesh: Shakib Al Hasan (captain), Anamul Haque Bijoy, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Towhid Hridoy, Afif Hossain Dhrubo, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taskin Ahmed, Hasan Mahmud, Mustafizur Rahman, Shoriful Islam, Nasum Ahmed, Shak Mahedi Hasan, Naim Sheikh, Shamim Hossain, Tanzid Hasan Tamim and Tanzim Hasan Sakib. (IANS)