Bangladesh challenge for Team India

While Bangladesh has sought a replacement for Tamim, Deepak Chahar, Siddharth Kaul and Ravindra Jadeja are scheduled to join the India contingent hours before the start of the match.

India will heavily rely on Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma.   -  AFP

Over the last few years, with the amount of cricket they have been playing against each other across formats and the heated exchanges on the field, India-Bangladesh matches have emerged as the subcontinental rivalry to watch out for.

The Bangla Tigers will hope to spoil the organisers’ and broadcaster’s plans for an effective three-match contest between India and Pakistan by surprising the Men in Blue on the opening day of the Super Four fixtures of the Asia Cup on Friday.

Interestingly, both the sides will enter the game having been forced to alter its preferred starting line-up due to injuries.

While Bangladesh will be without opener Tamim Iqbal, who has returned home after fracturing his wrist, India will have to rejig its line-up after all-rounder Hardik Pandya suffered a lower-back spasm against Pakistan on Wednesday.

Plenty to ponder

Add to that the injuries to pacer Shardul Thakur and spinner Axar Patel, and India — having rested captain Virat Kohli for the tournament — seems to have plenty to ponder.

While Bangladesh has sought a replacement for Tamim, Deepak Chahar, Siddharth Kaul and Ravindra Jadeja are scheduled to join the India contingent hours before the start of the match.

Having dominated Pakistan after being stretched by qualifier Hong Kong, India will look up to the in-form opening pair of captain Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan to lay a strong foundation against a team they have always scored heavily.

Bangladesh, meanwhile, will go in with the additional challenge of playing back-to-back games after facing Afghanistan in the concluding group-stage match.

No surprise

It didn’t come as a surprise that Bangladesh rested key players Mushfiqur Rahim and left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman against Afghanistan. Still, it might be a tough task for the Tigers to take the field afresh, especially after the 90-minute commute from Abu Dhabi back to Dubai.

While the teams will be dealing with various issues, the fans — especially the expats from both the countries — will be looking forward to making their weekend in the Emirates a special affair.

Irrespective of the result and the soaring temperatures, the deafening noise of the fans is not likely to reduce a wee bit right through the game on Friday.

The teams (from):

India: Rohit Sharma (capt.), Shikhar Dhawan, K.L. Rahul, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, M.S. Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar and Siddharth Kaul.

Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (capt.), Shakib Al Hasan, 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 and Mominul Haque.

Match starts at 5 p.m.