Big picture: A chance to test bench strength
India have already qualified for the final of Asia Cup 2023. Bangladesh are no longer in contention. And that means Friday’s match between these two sides is a dead rubber. However, with the ODI World Cup less than a month away, it’s a chance for both teams to test their bench strength and try out any new combination they want to.
Things couldn’t have gone in a more opposite direction for Bangladesh. Besides registering just one win in the tournament so far, they have also had tough luck with injuries.
With so many first-choice players unavailable, Bangladesh may look to try out a new combination. At the same time, they would like to finish on a positive note as well.
India WWWWL (last five completed ODIs, most recent first)
In the spotlight: Axar Patel and Mohammad Naim
On Thursday, Iyer batted in the nets during India’s optional practice session. If 100% fit, he could come in for either Kishan or Rahul. Bumrah could also be rested with Mohammed Shami replacing him. The pitch could once again decide if India go with Shardul Thakur or Axar.
India (probable): 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Shreyas Iyer/KL Rahul, 5 Ishan Kishan (wk), 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Shardul Thakur/Axar Patel, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Mohammed Siraj, 11 Mohammed Shami/Jasprit Bumrah
Bangladesh could consider bringing in Tanzid Hasan for Naim and Afif Hossain for Mushfiqur. Litton Das could don the wicketkeeping gloves.
Bangladesh (probable): 1 Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 2 Tanzid Hasan/Mohammad Naim, 3 Litton Das (wk), 4 Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 5 Towhid Hridoy, 6 Afif Hossain, 7 Shamim Hossain, 8 Nasum Ahmed, 9 Taskin Ahmed, 10 Shoriful Islam, 11 Hasan Mahmud
With Colombo having hosted four games in six days, expect the pitch to be on the slower side. There’s a slight chance of rain throughout the duration of the match.
“Personally very happy with the way Hardik [the bowler] has shaped up, something that we worked for a long time. We have been planning on this, managing his workload, making sure he is fit first and is able to achieve what we expect out of him. That you could see in the last game. He has been doing that consistently – hitting that 140kph mark. Once he does that, he is a different bowler. From the team’s perspective, he is a wicket-taking option that we have.”
India’s bowling coach Paras Mhambrey on Hardik Pandya
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