Mirpur: Having beaten Sri Lanka comfortably on Tuesday, India now shift focus to hosts Bangladesh for the fourth match of the Asia Cup at Mirpur's Shere Bangla National Stadium on Friday. Considering the looming fixture against Pakistan on Sunday, India will want to wrap up a win over Bangladesh to ensure there are few jitters going into the most anticipated match of the tournament. For the hosts, a win is the only way to stay in the competition.
A win here will guarantee India's place in the final, while knocking out Bangladesh. Their win over Sri Lanka was set up by a double-century partnership between centurions Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli and a whirlwind finish from MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina, and the finishing touches applied by Irfan Pathan's four wickets. Back in friendlier conditions than in Australia, India looked a much stronger unit. Against Bangladesh, who bowled and fielded well against Pakistan on Sunday, they should look to replicate their recipe for victory: get settled in, push the scoring rate after the batting Powerplay, and finish off strongly.
Bangladesh, who have not beaten top-drawer opposition since they pulled one over England during the 2011 World Cup in Chittagong, need a win to keep alive their chances in the tournament. It is tough to see where they can pull the strength to beat India.
Bangladesh indeed pushed Pakistan in the tournament opener, but yet again it was the performances of a few individuals that stood out. It was not a collective performance. Shakib Al Hasan and Shahadat Hossain bowled well, and during the chase only Shakib, Tamim Iqbal and Nasir Hossain put in commanding innings. India's bowling lacks the bite that Pakistan's does, and so Bangladesh can aim to put in a better batting display, should Shakib and Tamim get some more support.
India are not expected to make any changes to the team that beat Sri Lanka, meaning that Yusuf Pathan will remain on the sidelines while Ravindra Jadeja – who went for 31 in four overs in the last match – should hold his place in the XI. Bangladesh opted for three quick bowlers against Pakistan, but against India they could bring in an extra spinner. Shafiul Islam failed to pick up a wicket on Sunday so he could be dropped for Elias Sunny, the slow left-arm spinner.
Overall, India have beaten Bangladesh 21 of 23 times. It will take something drastic from Bangladesh to upset India.
Bangladesh: 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Nazimuddin, 3 Jahurul Islam, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt/wk), 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Nasir Hossain, 7 Mahmudullah, 8 Mashrafe Mortaza, 9 Abdur Razzak, 10 Shahadat Hossain, 11 Elias Sunny/Shafiul Islam
India: 1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 Sachin Tendulkar, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Rohit Sharma, 5 MS Dhoni (capt/wk), 6 Suresh Raina, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Irfan Pathan, 9 R Ashwin, 10 Praveen Kumar, 11 Vinay Kumar