Bangladesh team’s confidence is at an all-time low with just one win from their last 10 T20Is. However, the defeat of Team India against the hosts Sri Lanka in the Nidahas trophy 2018 opening game would have provided the Tigers some sigh of relief. However, that doesn’t guarantee them a win at the outset and captain Mahmudullah and his men will do well to remind themselves of that.
The last time these two teams met it was probably overconfidence that got the better of Bangladesh in the final over of the 2016 World T20. They are without Shakib Al Hasan and that will also cost Bangladesh off four miserly overs. His batting at a time when Bangladesh is striving to sustain momentum through the middle order will be missed. However, opener Tamim Iqbal, before hopping onto the flight to Colombo, urged his teammates to stick to the basics.
In past one year, Banglad has played six T20Is and only three batsmen have scored over 100 runs – Soumya Sarkar (205), Mahmudullah (146) and Mushfiqur Rahim (110). The dazzling exception in this list is Tamim, who has played only two of these six games. However, the bowling also seems to be short on ideas with Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed, and Rubel Hossain having smashed all-over the park by the batsmen in recent times.
The challenges for the young Indian team are different. While the men in blue will continue to make the best of these resources and win games, they also need to present every youngster an opportunity to showcase their skills. Vijay Shankar’s inclusion would have made the management happy while Shardul Thakur showed great heart to come back from a ravaging 27-run opening over. Washington Sundar was his usual self bowling with the new ball. Shankar and Suresh Raina will be expected to pitch in with four overs, whereas someone like a Sundar will have to better his performance with the bat whenever the need be.
As the series progresses, India will offer chances to Axar Patel and KL Rahul as well. Even Mohammed Siraj will have his chance to get a game, so will Deepak Hooda who will look to showcase his batting prowess. All changes will be made after keeping in mind that it doesn’t cost India a win.
Pitch and Weather conditions
Another humid day is expected in Colombo, but this time with a certain possibility of thundershowers in the afternoon. Shikhar Dhawan spoke about the presence of dew in the opening game and that could show up again on Thursday.
Talking about the team combinations, Bangladesh could opt for Nurul Hasan ahead of Sabbir Rahman, while Mehidy Hasan could be picked ahead of a seamer, for his batting. Ariful Haque and Soumya Sarkar are the fast-bowling options if they opt for only two frontline pacers.
On the other hand, India may think about going in with Mohammed Siraj in place of Shardul Thakur, who was expensive on Monday. Otherwise, they may remain unchanged – though it is also possible that KL Rahul could enter the top order.
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Liton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mahmudullah (c), Ariful Haque, Nurul Hasan, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nazmul Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman
India: Rohit Sharma (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Vijay Shankar, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohammed Siraj/Shardul Thakur.