Date: Wednesday, 24 February
Time: 7:30 p.m. local/1:30 p.m. GMT
Venue: Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur
Live Stream and TV Info: Star Sports (India), Geo Super, PTV Sports (Pakistan), MTV Sports (Sri Lanka), Channel 9 (Bangladesh), Willow TV (USA), SuperSport (South Africa)
The first main draw fixture of the 2016 Asia Cup has all the makings of a thrilling contest. Hosts Bangladesh take on title favourites India as both sides begin their preparation for the World T20.
While Bangladesh were considered whipping boys once upon a time, they have been steadily improving in limited-overs cricket and have become the team to beat on home soil. With wins over South Africa, India, Zimbabwe and Pakistan in the 50-over format last year, they have every reason to be confident.
It’s the first time the Asia Cup will be played as a 20-over tournament, and while Bangladesh’s record in the shortest format is not nearly as impressive as the 50-over stuff, their blend of youth and experience, as well as home-ground advantage, means they should not be taken lightly.
India, though, have recently beaten Australia and Sri Lanka, and they are gearing up for the World T20 on home soil so will be looking to hit the ground running.
They have played just two T20s against Bangladesh and won both, so they are definitely favourites for the first clash even if they have to be without MS Dhoni. ESPNCricinfo reported that Dhoni suffered a back spasm during training and Parthiv Patel will join the squad as back-up.
Mustafizur Rahman arrived on cricket’s stage with a bang just last year.Rahman has showed patience and experience beyond his tender 20 years. While fast bowlers aren’t exactly what Bangladesh are known forRahman has been a breath of fresh air in a squad where spin bowlers dominate.
No one has taken more wickets for India in T20s since 2014 than RaviAshwin. He has 28 wickets at an average of just 12.03. On turning tracks, Ashwin can be deadly. In T20 cricket where players often have to attack the spinners, Ashwin can really cash in with his variation.
Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (Captain), Shakib Al Hasan, ImrulKayes, Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim, SoumyaSarkar, Sabbir Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Al-AminHossain, Taskin Ahmed, Arafat Sunny, Abu Hider, Nurul Hasan
India: MS Dhoni (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli,Yuvraj Singh, Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin,Jasprit Bumrah, Ashish Nehra, Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane,Harbhajan Singh, Pawan Negi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Parthiv Patel