Match date: March 18
Venue: R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Have Bangladesh calmed down after the highly intense virtual semifinal against Sri Lanka on Friday? Or will the momentum they gained through the tense, thrilling win actually aid them going into the big game on Sunday?
That’s the key factor as they take on India in the final of the tri-nation Nidahas Trophy 2018. Bangladesh are clearly on a high, while India, despite being a second-string side, have the aura of a been-there-done-that outfit.
The two times India and Bangladesh met in the initial stage, it was India who came out on top. Bangladesh did manage to stretch Rohit Sharma’s men in parts, but weren’t able to do much beyond that. However, they’d believe they are a different side especially after the stunning win in their last game. The manner of their victories in both their matches against Sri Lanka should give them confidence – and the opposition worry – that they can beat any side on their day.
In their own words, they are playing a ‘Bangladesh’ brand of T20 cricket – which has produced mixed results so far. That brand nearly cost them dear in other ways too, with Shakib Al Hasan, their captain, perhaps lucky to escape a suspension despite some ill-advised behaviour in the game against Sri Lanka.
The good news for them is that he is still there, and they’ll definitely need his experience on the big day. India began the tournament with a loss to Sri Lanka but have put that behind, winning their next three to get this far. They’ve looked the most all-round team in the tournament, and will be keen to have one final good game.
Washington Sundar: 4-0-28-2, 4-0-23-0, 4-0-21-2 and 4-0-22-3. These are young Washington’s figures in the four games in the tournament, saying everything about his form. He has shared the new ball in each of the four games, making his achievements even better!
Mahmudullah: That last-ball six against Sri Lanka will remain in Bangladesh fans’ memories forever. His unbeaten 43 off just 18 balls has got Bangladesh this far, and he’ll be the man to watch out for on the big day against India.
Mohammed Siraj conceded 50 runs from four overs in India’s last game, and the team management would be tempted to drop him for Jaydev Unadkat.
Bangladesh are unlikely to tinker with a winning combination.
“The first thing that Rohit said is that even though we had a few of our players missing, we are looking to play exactly the kind of cricket we’ve played over the past one year. We are looking to win every match that we play, and till now we’ve been pretty successful in this tournament. We’re looking forward to one more good game.” – Dinesh Karthik.
“The new brand of T20 cricket, we need to continue playing aggressively and fearlessly. That is our code word.” – Sunil Joshi, Bangladesh spin consultant.
India: Rohit Sharma (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Vijay Shankar, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohammed Siraj, Rishabh Pant (wk).
Bangladesh: Shakib Al Hasan (capt), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mahmudullah Riyad, Sabbir Rahman, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Liton Das, Taskin Ahmed, Abu Hider, Abu Jayed, Ariful Haque, Nazmul Islam, Nurul Hasan, Mehedi Hasan.