Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli are the mandatory options for India’s top three batsmen © AFP
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli are the mandatory options for India’s top three batsmen © AFP

India lock horns with Bangladesh in the much awaited final of Asia Cup T20 2016 at Sher-e-Bangla in Mirpur. Having won all the round stage matches, India walk into the final high in confidence, on the other hand, Bangladesh have successfully managed to turn tables around following their loss in the opening fixture to the same opponents. The hosts went on to remain undefeated in the rest of their matches and will look to lift their first-ever Asia Cup trophy on Sunday. While MS Dhoni played the bench players like Ajinkya Rahane, Harbhajan Singh and Pawan Negi in their formality match against United Arab Emirates (UAE), he will however choose to stick with the same playing XI which he had fielded against the likes of Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh earlier in the tournament. FULL Cricket Scorecard: India vs Bangladesh, Asia Cup T20 2016 Final at Mirpur

Top-order: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli are the mandatory options for India’s top three batsmen. Rohit is India’s leading run scorer so far in this Asia Cup with 137 runs from four innings at a strike rate of 138.38. Dhawan who has been struggling to find form with the bat has managed only 21 runs from three innings. He was ruled out of the all-important fixture against Pakistan after suffering a niggle on his left ankle. Despite not being 100 per cent fit, the Indian limited-overs skipper will select Dhawan ahead of Ajinkya Rahane to open India innings with Rohit. Indian batting has been on back foot including Kohli having played only one outstanding innings.

Kohli held on nerves when Mohammad Aamer ran over India’s top-order, despite Pakistan getting bowled out for a paltry total of 83. Had India lost that match, it would easily have crushed them from confidence point of view. However, Kohli’s calculated and mature knock of 49 ensured India got home on a winning note.

Middle-Order: With every aspect on one side, Indian team and fans can be assured of watching Yuvraj Singh once again in his typical form. He has scored 89 runs off four innings at a strike rate of 111.25, which surely is good news for India. They need the experience in the middle and no other batsman but Yuvraj can do that job best for the men in blue. Suresh Raina has again and again proved replacing him from the No. 4 position is a big deal for India. All he has to do is time the ball well and not throw away his wicket in the needy situations. READ: Asia Cup T20 2016: Has change in pace attack turned around India’s fortune?

Although Hardik Pandya has failed in the two out of the three innings he had come out to bat in this tournament, his quick knock of 25-ball 31 in the opening match against Bangladesh when the likes of Kohli, Dhawan, Raina and Yuvraj failed to deliver with the bat, showed his ability to bring back the innings to the track under pressure. Along with that, he is the leading wicket-taker for India with 7 scalps which undoubtedly retains his position in the playing XI.

Lower-Order: Dhoni will not enter the field in the night of the final without his two most-trusted spinners—Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin—who were rested in the match against UAE. Since it was a dead rubber with India already qualified for the final, the likes of Pawan Negi and Harbhajan Singh were given a game. The pace department is a blend of experience and a new-comer in-form: Ashish Nehra and Jaspirt Bumrah. Both the bowlers have five wickets each from four games and India will surely want them to strike and not let the likes of Soumya Sarkar, Tamin Iqbal and Sabbir Rehman get a good start in the final.

India likely XI: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Hardik Pandya, MS Dhoni (c&wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ashish Nehra, Jasprit Bumrah

(Sakshi Gupta, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a sports fanatic whose mantra in life is “do only what you enjoy.” Her Twitter handle is @sakshi2929)