The Nidahas Trophy hasn’t produced ground-breaking cricket yet but it has certainly provided a lot of drama. Even though India won comfortably against Sri Lanka on Monday, there was always a sense of tension that one more wicket could open up the game. Bangladesh provided their share of drama too over the weekend.
What could tilt the next battle, between India and Bangladesh, could be confidence. Whichever side can retain belief within themselves could come out on top on the day.
India have plenty of happy faces in their team after the hard-fought win over the home side. Manish Pandey and Dinesh Karthik finished off the tricky chase quietly, after Suresh Raina’s 15-ball 27 had stirred up the ground. The experienced Raina could have played himself in, given that India had already lost captain Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, but he did the exact opposite.
Among the bowlers, too, India have much confidence. Washington Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal varied their pace well, and so did Shardul Thakur who finished with four wickets. Jaydev Unadkat and Vijay Shankar played supporting roles.
Bangladesh must have a buzzing dressing room too, having won in dramatic fashion against Sri Lanka. The fact that their previous highest successful chase was 166 has made the chase of 215 all the more special. Liton Das started in fine style before Tamim Iqbal took over the baton. Then Soumya Sarkar struck a few timely blows and Mushfiqur Rahim took over, finishing with an unbeaten 72 off 35 balls with some help from Mahmudullah.
Bangladesh’s bowling could do better, however. Mehidy Hasan and Nazmul Islam will once again need to slow things down while Mustafizur Rahman and Rubel Hossain have to bowl well in the Powerplay and slog overs. Taskin Ahmed may have to give away his place after being below par.
India: WWLWL (last five completed matches, most recent first)
In the spotlight
Shardul Thakur has used the knuckle-ball to great effect against Sri Lanka, picking up his first four-wicket haul in T20Is. He will once again have to ace those change-ups in the crucial overs, especially if the match is shortened by rain.
Mustafizur Rahman has played the most T20s among the Bangladeshi bowlers in 2018, which means there remains a lot of dependence on him. He has taken four wickets in the Nidahas Trophy so far but was unable to stem the flow of runs against Sri Lanka.
India made only one change in the previous game, replacing Rishabh Pant with KL Rahul, and barring any last-minute injuries, they are likely to go with the same XI.
India (probable): 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 KL Rahul, 4 Suresh Raina, 5 Manish Pandey, 6 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 7 Vijay Shankar, 8 Washington Sundar, 9 Yuzvendra Chahal, 10 Shardul Thakur, 11 Jaydev Unadkat
Bangladesh are unlikely to change their winning line-up but there are strong question marks next to Sabbir Rahman and Taskin Ahmed after the Sri Lanka game. Ariful Haque and Abu Jayed could be options to consider.
Bangladesh (probable): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Soumya Sarkar, 3 Liton Das, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 5 Mahmudullah (capt), 6 Sabbir Rahman/Ariful Haque, 7 Mehidy Hasan, 8 Mustafizur Rahman, 9 Taskin Ahmed/Abu Jayed, 10 Rubel Hossain, 11 Nazmul Islam
Pitch and conditions
Rain continues to be forecast in Colombo, with Bangladesh already talking about being mentally prepared for a stop-start game. The pitch is likely to remain the same, mostly batting-friendly.
Stats and trivia
Kusal Mendis’ T20 career has taken new life this year. He has scored four fifties in five matches, in which he has made 246 runs at an average of 49.20. Before this year, Mendis had scored 74 runs in eight innings at 9.25.
In Monday’s game against Sri Lanka, KL Rahul became the first Indian batsman to be out hit wicket in a T20I.
“The Indian bowlers made a lot of change of pace, especially their spinners. They found turn when they bowled it very slow. The pace bowlers have taken off the pace from the ball. We need to keep an eye on these things.”
Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah on India’s bowling against Sri Lanka