© AFP
UAE team have played well just not coming out on the winning side © AFP

UAE is set to lock horns with the undisputed kings of Asia Cup T20 2016, India, in the 9th match of this edition at Dhaka, Bangladesh. The match is expected to be a one-sided affair with UAE struggling to win any game so far. Despite their losing spree in this tournament, UAE didn’t fail to impress their opposition except Bangladesh who shredded their batting line up in pieces. UAE played two close matches against Sri Lanka and Pakistan, an in a nail-biting contest they almost pulled off a big upset in the latter affair. With India rumoured to test their bench strength before hand ICC World T20 2016, UAE might have a fighting chance against them. The grass is wearing off on Dhaka’s pitch, more likely to help the spin brigade.  LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs UAE, Asia Cup 2016 Match 9 at Dhaka

Top order: The top order has been rusty and faulty in their technique finding it difficult to stay on the crease. Rohan Mustafa, Mohammad Kaleem and Mohammad Shahzad have failed to score, let alone impressing. With Kaleem failing to make it to double digits, UAE’s top order seems unlikely to produce any fireworks in the power play. It will be a test for them facing in-form veteran Ashish Nehra and youngster Jasprit Bumrah. In order to post a respectable total, the top order needs to stick to the crease through the fielding restrictions.

Middle Order: With the top order failing to deliver, the middle order is showing a glimmer of hope in the batting department. Shaiman Anwar looks most impressive of the lot showing destructive attributes in their last match against Pakistan. Mohammad Usman, Swapnil Patil, and Amjad Javed have looked impressive but comparatively slow, considering the standards of the format. With other spots shuffled between Saqlain Haider, Farhad Tariq and Usman Mushtaq, UAE looks to find a proper balance. They will have to survive top spin bowling from Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Yuvraj Singh. And in case of shuffle, Harbhajan Singh will be there too, as well as Hardik Pandya chipping in with promising seam bowling.

Lower Order and Bowling: Unlike their batting order, the bowling department has impressed, restricting big guns to an ordinary score and making life difficult for Pakistan’s batsmen. The bowlers almost pulled off an upset against Pakistan, thrashing their top order until Shoaib Malik and Umar Akmal came to the rescue. The bowling has been truly up to the mark in recent times, taking key wickets in the initial stages of the game. Mohammad Naveed, Amjad Javed, Mohammad Shahzad, Ahmad Raza and all-rounder Rohan Mustafa have hit the right areas, but in pressure situations they have strayed  far too often.  It would be a tough battle for them with Virat Kohli firing on all cylinders and Yuvraj Singh regaining his form. It won’t be easy to go against the best batting line up of the tournament.

 UAE’s likely Playing XI: Rohan Mustafa, Mohammad Kaleem, Mohammad Shahzad, Shaiman Anwar, Mohammad Usman, Sswapnil Patil (wk), Amjad Javed(c), Fahad Tariq, Saqlain Haider, Ahmed Raza, Mohammad Naved.

(Arun Rawal is a reporter at CricketCountry)