In the first T20 edition of the Asia Cup, it’s going to be the hosts Bangladesh who will take on the tournament favorites India in the grand finale to be held on Sunday night at Mirpur. This promises to be a blockbuster of a match as two best sides in the tournament are up against each other to lift the title.
The stadium is expected to be packed fully as the home team is playing in the final and of course, given the fact that the Bangladesh fans with heart and soul support their team through thick and thin as we have seen in the recent years. They flock in a huge numbers especially when the match is being played in their own backyard. So ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, get ready for the title decider on Sunday night.
India are currently the no. 1 team in ICC T20I rankings. Even before the tournament commenced, India were deemed red-hot favorites by many cricket pundits and experts for the Asia Cup and as well as the T20 WC2016. As things stand out now, they are on top of the table with comprehensive victory against all the nations taking part in this tournament.
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They will be high in confidence as they have won all their last 7 outings away from home in the shortest format of the game. They had beaten Australia 3-0 in the 3-match T20I series down under and they have won all the 4 matches they have played so far in the ongoing Asia Cup T20.
All three departments have been clicking for India at the moment. They have played the core team in all of their matches in last one and a half months except-for the relatively unimportant match against UAE. MS Dhoni, the Indian skipper for limited over cricket, decided to rest their front-line bowlers and test their bench strength.
Harbhajan Singh and Bhuvneshwar Kumar replaced R Ashwin and AshishNehra in the previous match. And Pawan Negi was given his national cap as R Jadeja was rested as well. None of them disappointed the team as they performed well and helped the team win comfortably. Credits must not be taken away even though it was against a ‘small’ team.
Especially Bhuvneshwar Kumar playing an international match after a long gap had a great outing as his figures read 4-2-8-2. So the team management hasa plethora of options to opt for. However, MS Dhoni wouldn’t like to experiment in the title decider as the main bowler-trio are expected to come back in the side for the final.
India are in the right frame of mind after consistent and convincing performances in the last 6 weeks in T20I’s if not in all formats and they would like to finish it on a high. With cameos of an 18-ball 35 against Sri Lanka and a 14-ball 25, Yuvraj Singh has proved once again why he is considered as one of the destructive and flamboyant batsmen in the shortest format.
The form of Yuvraj is a good sign for the Indians as he starts adding values to team’s success. The only concern for India lies in the fact that their opener Shikhar Dhawan has been going through a lean patch. However, it’s just a matter of time before he gets his usual self and deliver, and you never know it could come out in the final.
On the other hand, going into the final, Bangladesh had snatched victory from the jaw of loss against Pakistan in a low-scoring and nail-biting affair, thanks to Mohammad Sami’s two no balls that changed the course of the game, and saw themselves through to the finale. It sure had done their confidence a world of good.
The key batsman for Bangladesh was Soumya Sarkar who played a run a ball 48-run knock under tough conditions against a pace-heavy Pakistan bowling attack and guided the team to the final. And the Bangladesh team would like to have a similar innings from their best batter in the tournament to fulfill their dreams of being crowned as the Asian Champions for the first time.
The big blow for Bangladesh is the absence of young pacer, Mustafizur Rahman who did manage to trouble the Indian batters in the past. However, they still have the quality players in their side who can contribute for the team’s cause.The tigers will be expecting a world class performance from the no.1 all-rounder in ICC T20I rankings, Shakib Al Hasan, who has had an average tournament so far. The Mortaza-led team will be looking forward to their senior pro to bring on in an all-round performance to help them win their maiden Asia Cup Trophy.
The pitch at Mirpur is expected to be a grassy one as it has been more or less throughout the tournament. Given the fact that India do struggle against in seaming and swinging pitches, Bangladesh will look to have advantage of having a green top. Come the 6th March, all eyes will be glued to witness a good game of cricket.
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