India vs Bangladesh

Crucial Decisions Ahead: India vs Bangladesh in Asia Cup Super Four

Colombo, September 14 (PTI) India, having already secured a spot in the final, may contemplate giving their fringe players an opportunity as they take on Bangladesh, who are already out of contention, in a Super Four match of the Asia Cup scheduled for Friday.

The team led by Rohit Sharma faces a crucial decision regarding whether to prioritize giving more playing time to their primary squad or affording some game time to fringe players in preparation for the upcoming World Cup at home next month. This decision becomes especially relevant when considering the workload management of the bowlers.

Jasprit Bumrah has bowled a mere 12 overs thus far in the Asia Cup – five against Pakistan and seven against Sri Lanka. He did not participate in the match against Nepal. Therefore, the choice of whether Bumrah will continue to play in another match or take a step back and return for the final on September 17 may rest with him.

India vs. Bangladesh

On the other hand, Mohammed Siraj has bowled 19.2 overs, and Hardik Pandya has bowled 18 overs in the tournament. While these numbers may not appear substantial, the high humidity in Colombo has been draining, so it’s possible that the team management may rest one of them.

In this context, it wouldn’t be a significant surprise if Shami replaced Siraj against Bangladesh. This change could also offer the experienced pacer valuable match practice before the World Cup, which begins on October 5. Shami has primarily been used as a backup seamer behind Bumrah, Siraj, and Pandya.

However, the declining performance of Axar Patel as a backup spinner for Ravindra Jadeja is a concern. Axar has struggled to take wickets and control the run-rate, an area where Jadeja excels. With only three wickets in seven ODIs this year and an economy rate around six, Axar needs to elevate his game quickly.

KL Rahul’s return to full fitness has addressed many issues for the team management. He has batted fluently and kept wickets with agility. After the match against Sri Lanka, Rahul spoke about his clear role as India’s primary wicketkeeper cum middle-order batsman, indicating that he is likely to continue in that role against Bangladesh.

Shreyas Iyer’s fitness is another point of interest, as he missed the Super Four matches against Pakistan and Sri Lanka due to a back spasm. However, he batted and bowled without discomfort during practice on Thursday, which is a positive sign for the team.

If the management decides to provide extra time for Shreyas to recover, they have options between Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav. While Kishan has shown promise in ODIs, Suryakumar’s performance in the format has been less impressive. Despite this, Suryakumar is considered an important part of India’s white-ball setup, and the team may want to give him another chance to prove himself.

Regarding the Bangladesh team, they will be without wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim for this match. Rahim returned home after their Super Four match against Sri Lanka, which they lost by 21 runs. In Rahim’s absence, Litton Das is expected to take on the wicketkeeping duties.

However, their captain Shakib al Hasan has rejoined the team after briefly returning home to spend time with his family.

Teams:

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, 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, Tanzim Hasan Sakib.

The match is set to commence at 3 PM IST.

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