Bangladesh will be looking to find a perfect mix in the side before going up against the in-form Team India  © AFP
Bangladesh will be looking to find a perfect mix in the side before going up against the in-form Team India © AFP

Bangladesh has paved their way through to meet India in the final showdown of Asia Cup T20 2016 at Mirpur, Dhaka on Sunday. The hosts are in high spirits after beating Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the tournament. This is second instance in history of Asia Cup that Bangladesh have reached the final. But this time they aren’t portrayed as underdogs but tough contenders for the Cup improving their game and with support of both pitch and supporters on their back. A lot is expected from them after a dream run in the tournament. A win would also induce a confidence booster for upcoming T20 World Cup to be held in India. They will be looking to find a perfect mix in the side before going up against the in-form Team India.FULL Cricket Scorecard: India vs Bangladesh, Asia Cup T20 2016 Final at Mirpur

Top Order: The openers of Bangladesh have looked shaky and inconsistent in this tournament throwing away their wickets in powerplay and unable to provide a blazing start to the innings. Tamim Iqbal’s return lifted the spirits of Bangladesh fans but he failed to make any impact when he was dismissed off Mohammad Aamer’s bowling while trying to go for a big hit. A lot is expected off him against India and most importantly he should try and not lose his wicket in the first six overs. Soumya Sarkar’s form in the last match was a big sigh of relief for Bangladesh. He has been timing the ball to precision all around the park but needs to be careful against Ashish Nehra and Jasprit Bumrah.

Apart from the opening pair, Sabbir Rahman has impressed everyone with his hard-hitting abilities. Unlike last match against Pakistan, he shouldn’t be in a hurry to give his wicket on the platter. India’s bowling has been top notch in this tournament, barely leaking runs, taking wickets at regular interval and restricting opposition to an achievable target. Bangaldesh’s top-order has to keep wickets in hand to post a big total in the first innings or chase with the required temperament. READ: India vs Bangladesh, Asia Cup T20 2016 Final: Likely XI for Team India

Middle Order: The middle order has chipped in with cameos apart from the match against Sri Lanka. Bangladesh managed to win that fixture, courtesy of Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah in the middle, who handled the innings well. Barring that match, Shakib has failed to find his rhythm in the tournament and has played at a below par strike rate. Including Imrul Kayes would be a good gamble keeping in mind that he can provide solidarity to the middle order alongside wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim and cameo expert Mahmudullah has been playing the role of a finisher in this tournament. Shuffling between this mix will be a tedious job seeing the match conditions and number of overs left in the match. However, overall, Bangladesh’s middle-order is yet to prove their worth un this campaign.

Lower Order and Bowling: Bangladesh’s lower order are yet to bring the best out of them with the bat with exception being skipper Mashrafe Mortaza, who has led the tail to the end of a lot of matches recently. They have been rather more impressive with the ball in the tournament picking up early wickets with Al-Amin Hossain having emerged as their leading wicket-taker. Even in the opening encounter of Asia Cup against India, they bowled good lines and length before facing the wrath of Rohit Sharma after he was dropped him on 21. They need to stick to their game plan and not deviate from it. With Virat Kohli having a sensational form and Yuvraj Singh having to start expressing him whole heartedly, it would be tough for Bang;ladesh’s bowling attack to go past India’s batting line up easily, especially when India’s line-up consists of the likes of big hitters Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya.

(Arun Rawal is a reporter at CricketCountry)