After 12 intriguing contests, it all boils down to the one last game. It’s going to be India vs Bangladesh in the final of the Asia Cup 2018. The anticipation was for an India-Pakistan final but Bangladesh defeated the latter and inflicted a repeat of the Asia Cup 2016 final. The Dubai International Cricket Stadium will host the deciding encounter of the tournament.
Bangladesh, after their convincing win over Sri Lanka, lost 2 games in a row. First, Afghanistan defeated them in the Group Stage and then India rolled over them in the first game of Super 4. But the Mashrafe Mortaza-led side made a remarkable comeback and defeated Afghanistan and Pakistan in the next 2 games to seal a berth in the final.
On the other hand, team India, the 6-time Asian Champions, has been a class apart. The Men in Blue are the only undefeated side in the tournament so far. They won both their Group matches and then beat Bangladesh and Pakistan in the Super 4 that confirmed that place in the final. After securing a place, they decided to rest their key players and ended up tying a match against Afghanistan.
But the key players for India will be back for the big game now. Recently, India and Bangladesh have been involved in 2 finals, first, in the Asia Cup 2016 and then in the Nidahas Trophy in Sri Lanka. On both occasions, India emerged victorious. The odds are once again in the favor of the World No.2 side to clinch another trophy.
Here is our prediction for the India vs Bangladesh game
Case1: If India bats first
First Innings score prediction: 280-290
Result prediction: India will win the match by 40-50 runs
Case2: If Bangladesh bats first
First Innings score prediction: 210-220
Result prediction: India will win the match by 6 wickets
Head to head in ODIs
Total ODIs: 35, India won: 28, Bangladesh won: 5, No Result: 2
India’s batting has been all about the openers – Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma. Where Dhawan is the leading scorer of the tournament, Rohit isn’t too far behind at No.3. Both have given the side an amazing platform each time they came out to bat. Once again, they will be the batsmen to watch out for.
But the middle-order hasn’t done a lot. They weren’t required to do much in the earlier games as Dhawan and Rohit were getting most of the runs, but against Afghanistan, the weakness was exposed. This is the last game and perhaps the last opportunity for some of the players to cement a place in the line-up.
The regular bowlers – Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal were rested for the Afghanistan game. Hence, India conceded 252 runs, which was far above the standards this bowling line-up has set. Now that the bowling will consist of the regular ones, one can expect India to dominate again with the ball.
Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma (c), Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah
The story of Bangladesh’s batting has been dependent on Mushfiqur Rahim. If he plays well, the team wins and if he falters, they end up on the losing end. He has a century and a 99 to his name and both the knocks were very high in class that set the game up beautifully for the team. The top-order has failed more often than not while the lower middle-order consisting of Mithun, Kayes and Mahmudullah has got runs consistently.
In the last game, Mehidy Hasan bowled a terrific spell that pegged the Pakistani batsmen back. Mustafizur Rahman has been the go-to man. He pulled off a win against Afghanistan in the last over to keep them alive and then bagged 4 wickets against Pakistan to continue the good work. But against India, it’s going to be tough especially in the absence of Shakib Al Hasan. But if Bangladesh can expose the Indian middle-order early, they would stand a chance.
Soumya Sarkar, Liton Das (wk), Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Mithun, Imrul Kayes, Mahmudullah, Mehidy Hasan, Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman
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