Mustafizur Rahman vs Rohit Sharma: The Fizz seems to have rediscovered his lost mojo and has emerged as the leader of the Bangladesh pace attack. He picked 4/43 against Pakistan and more importantly picked up early wickets with the new ball. Indian openers led by captain Rohit Sharma have been in fine form and they have been a key reason in India's successful campaign so far. If Mustafizur can get Rohit early in the innings, then Bangladesh will certainly gain an upper hand considering that India's middle-order hasn't really impressed so far. Meanwhile, if Rohit gets going early in the innings, Bangladesh will find it difficult to stop him considering they will miss the services of experienced Shakib-al-Hasan in the middle overs.
Mehidy Hassan vs MS Dhoni: Dhoni's lack of form will be a major worry for Team India, not just for the Asia Cup final but also given the World Cup is just around the corner. Dhoni is expected to be in the World Cup squad and play a major role in the middle-order but his troubles against spin in recent times have been rather surprising. Mehidy Hassan will be looking to exploit that and pile further misery on the experienced Dhoni. Indian fans will be hoping for an assured performance from the former captain. Otherwise the voices questioning his place in the team will keep getting louder.
Mushfiqur Rahim vs Ravindra Jadeja: Rahim has been a revelation in this year's Asia Cup and has almost single-handedly carried the batting mantle for his side. He has scored 297 runs at an average of 74.25 in the tournament and helped the team recover from early collapses against Pakistan and Sri Lanka. He has also improved the mental aspect of his game and looks to play right till the end rather than throwing it away after reaching a milestone. He will have his task cut out against India and is likely to face trial by spin. Jadeja got the better of him last time and picked up four wickets to dismantle the Bangladesh batting. Rahim will look to play the anchor role this time around and carry his bat if the Bangla Tigers are to have any chance of winning the cup.
Liton Das vs Bhuvneshwar Kumar: With Tamim Iqbal not in the team, Das will be expected to bear the major responsibility of providing a solid start to Bangladesh. So far, he has failed to do that in the tournament and will have his task cut out against the formidable Indian bowling. Especially against Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who looks to be back at his best after return from injury. He has the ability to pick wickets at top and also bowl tight overs at the death. Key for Bangladesh will be the ability to handle pressure as Bhuvneshwar, along with Bumrah, will bowl a lot of tight overs. It will be important that Bangladesh batsman show application at the crease and not throw away their wickets.
Mahmudullah vs Jasprit Bumrah: Another batsman who has improved leaps and bounds for Bangladesh has been Mahmudullah. He now plays the role of the finisher and is capable of clearing the boundary when required. He provides the edge to Bangladesh in the final few overs and India will look to dismiss him early, with the responsibility lying on one of the top death bowlers in the world - Bumrah. His pace and ability to find the blockhole have been the key in the team's improved ODI performance over the past couple of years. He will be looking to replicate that again in the Asia Cup final.
asia cupAsia Cup 2018bangladeshBhuvneshwar Kumarjasprit bumrahLiton DasMahmudullakMehidy HassanMS DhoniMushfiqur RahimRavindra Jadejarohit sharmashakib al hasan
First Published: September 28, 2018, 11:17 AM IST