Asia Cup 2018 Preview: Rejigged India squad to face tricky Bangladesh challenge


Asia Cup 2018, India vs Bangladesh Preview: Indian team had to fly in Siddarth Kaul, Deepak Chahar and Ravindra Jadeja in the squad with Shardul Thakur, Hardik Pandya and Axar Patel picking up injuries.

Shared News | Updated: September 20, 2018 7:23:41 pm

The last time India faced Bangladesh in a cricket match, it took a heroic effort from Dinesh Karthik to save the match for Men in Blue. The side led by skipper Rohit Sharma almost saw a massive upset before Karthik scored 8-ball 29 to take India to a thrilling final-ball victory. That is in the past – but as the two teams gear up to face each other once again in the Asia Cup, India will keep in mind that Bangladesh has a penchant to turn “party-poopers”.

It was not the first time Bangladesh had almost caused India an upset. The same thing happened between the two teams in the 2016 T20 World Cup. But India somehow scraped through in the final ball that time as well. After cruising through a victory in the crucial clash against Pakistan, skipper Rohit Sharma would feel confident going into the match against Bangladesh. But at the same time, he would want to tread cautiously as well. Especially with a few too many changes in the squad.

The fact that India have played regular cricket this year has finally started to have repercussions. Allrounder Hardik Pandya, who played in all three formats in England, picked up a lower back injury in his first game in the Asia Cup. Deepak Chahar called in as the replacement. Axar Patel and Shardul Thakur also dropped due to injuries. Ravindra Jadeja and Siddarth Kaul brought in the squad as replacements. This could totally change India’s team composition going into their first Super Fours clash in the tournament.

In the absence of Pandya, Patel, and Thakur, India may feel short of a batsman. With Chahar not having much experience, it remains unlikely he will get a chance straightaway against Bangladesh in the all-important match. India might rather include Manish Pandey in the team to add more strength in the middle order and replace Kuldeep Yadav with Ravindra Jadeja, who can provide a little more depth in the lower batting order.

But it is not only India who have suffered a setback with the injuries. The revamped schedule has caused Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza to grind his teeth. As per the new schedule, Bangladesh have to play back-to-back matches in Abu Dhabi against Afghanistan on Thursday followed by India in Dubai on Friday. Mortaza did not shy away from expressing his disappointment in the scheduling changes.

The defending Champions India will hope they can continue their winning run in the tournament and pick up their first win in the Super Fours stage ahead of Round 2 against Pakistan on Sunday. But Bangladesh have proven in the past that they can surprise any opponents on a given day. They have defeated India in big competitions before. In 2007, Bangladesh won by 5 wickets to knock out India from the ICC World Cup. India also suffered a five-wicket defeat against the same opposition 5 years later at the Asia Cup and were knocked out.

Under Mashrafe Mortaza’s captaincy, and with the experienced campaigners Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mustafizur Rahman and Nazmul Hossain in the squad, India may face a tricky competition.

India Squad: Rohit Sharma(c), Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Deepak Chahar, Siddarth Kaul, K Khaleel Ahmed

Bangladesh Squad: Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mashrafe Mortaza(c), Mohammad Mithun, Liton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Ariful Haque, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Mehidy Hasan, Nazmul Islam, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Abu Hider Rony, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Mominul Haque

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