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Bangladesh, India ready for battle

  • Published at 11:33 pm September 20th, 2018
Tigers
Bangladesh head coach Steve Rhodes makes a point during a training session in Dhaka in August Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

That heat is expected to be raised in the desert country as the Super Four round of the Asia Cup begins Friday with Bangladesh playing a day-night match against India at Dubai International Cricket Stadium

Since the tumultuous match of the 2015 World Cup, the matches between Bangladesh and India have generated extra excitement on and off the field. That heat is expected to be raised in the desert country as the Super Four round of the Asia Cup begins Friday with Bangladesh playing a day-night match against India at Dubai International Cricket Stadium. 

It is probably the first time in the Asia Cup that two matches will be played simultaneously as Pakistan will do battle against Afghanistan in the other game of the day in Abu Dhabi at the same time. 

Bangladesh players may be fatigued having played their last group match, against Afghanistan, just the previous day. 

But, given the result of the game did not have any significance in the tournament, the Tigers rested their key players in the shape of wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim and left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman.

This should have aided the two to store some energy for the very important contest against India. But with that said, majority of the Bangladesh players will get less than 16 hours to recover after playing an ODI under harsh conditions. 

One positive that has come Bangladesh’s way from the surprise change in the tournament fixture is that the side will not need to travel to Abu Dhabi from Dubai for back-to-back matches. 

As per the old schedule, if Bangladesh had finished top in Group B, the Tigers would have had to travel 139kms away for two days in a row – play the last group stage game Thursday and the first Super Four round game Friday.

In all probabilities, the Tigers will bring back Mushfiq and Mustafizur for Friday's game and opener Nazmul Hossain Shanto is likely to hold onto his place. The left-handed batsman made his international debut in the game against Afghanistan yesterday, having come in as the replacement of the injured opener Tamim Iqbal. 

Bangladesh’s premier opener Tamim fractured his left index finger during their opening game of the tournament against Sri Lanka, and was later ruled out for at least six weeks.

The Indian dressing room is also dealing with injuries as the side saw three players ruled out from the tournament. The side will miss all-rounder Hardik Pandya (an acute lower back spasm), left-arm spinner Axar Patel (injured left index finger) and right-arm pacer Shardul Thakur (right hip and groin soreness). 

Deepak Chahar, Ravindra Jadeja and Siddharth Kaul have come in as replacements of the injured trio and were scheduled to join the squad in Dubai Thursday. 

Bangladesh till date have played India 10 times in the Asia Cup but have been able to manage only one win. The Tigers registered their only victory against India in the Asia Cup back in 2012. 

Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar scored his historic 100th ton in international cricket during that match but his innings went in vein as the Tigers won the match in front of a jubilant Mirpur crowd, chasing down a 289-run total. 

Bangladesh have played 33 ODIs against India so far, and won five of them.

Bangladesh            Head to head    India

33                ODIs        33

5                Wins        27

15.62                Win %        84.37

Mushfiqur Rahim (578)    Most runs    Virat Kohli (654)

Mushfiq (117)            HS        Virender Sehwag (175)

Mashrafe bin Mortaza (21)    Most wickets    Ajit Agarkar (16)

Mustafizur Rahman (6/43)    BBI        Stuart Binny (6/4)