India vs United Arab Emirates (UAE), Asia Cup T20 2016, Match 9, Preview: Chance for MS Dhoni’s men to test bench strength

India have already qualified for the final of the Asia Cup T20 2016 after winning all three matches in the tournament so far.

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India will be high on confidence after comprehensive wins in all matches in the tournament so far © Getty Images
India will be high on confidence after comprehensive wins in all matches in the tournament so far © Getty Images

India take on United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Match 9 of Asia Cup T20 2016 at Mirpur. India, courtesy of their five-wicket win over Sri Lanka on Tuesday have qualified for the final of the tournament and this match against UAE is of no relevance to them as far as the tournament is concerned. UAE on the other hand will want to end their disappointing campaign with a win in their final match. India, having already reached the final, could perhaps afford to experiment a bit in this match. All-rounder Pawan Negi could come in the place of Ravindra Jadeja and one of the pacers could be given a well-deserved rest with Bhuvneshwar Kumar taking their place. Harbhajan Singh too has been warming the bench for some quite some time. The veteran spinner could get spot if Ravichandran Ashwin is rested for the dead rubber match. Full Cricket Scorecard: India vs United Arab Emirates (UAE), Asia Cup T20 2016, Match 9 at Mirpur

It is no secret that MS Dhoni does not like to mess with the winning combination, but there is no better time to test India’s bench strength. UAE performed incredibly well in the qualifying stage, where they beat Afghanistan, Hong Kong and Oman to make it to the group stages. Their bowlers have done a commendable job in the tournament, but it is their batsmen, who have failed them. READ: Asia Cup T20 2016: Jasprit Bumrah in death overs huge relief, says MS Dhoni

Against an Indian side that boasts of world class players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma among others, it will be the biggest test for the UAE bowlers in this tournament. Rohit has failed to score big in the last two matches and his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan too is yet to find form in the tournament. This will be their last chance to get among the runs ahead of the final. READ: Yuvraj Singh vs Sri Lanka at Dhaka: From ICC World T20 2014 to Asia Cup 2016, life has come a full circle

India would have been delighted with the way Yuvraj Singh was hitting the ball against Sri Lanka on Tuesday. His 18-ball 35 helped India come out of a crunch situation and win the match with ease in the end. UAE skipper has been one of their most consistent performers with both bat and ball. He has picked up 8 wickets in three matches and scored vital runs batting low down the order. Other experienced batsmen like Shaiman Anwar, Swapni Patil and Rohan Mustafa will look to step up in this final encounter and help UAE win. READ: Asia Cup 2016: Rise of Amjad Javed and UAE cricket

Last time India met UAE was in the group stages of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 at Perth. UAE were bowled out for just 102 inside 32 overs and India chased it down with 9 wickets and 31.1 overs to spare. The outcome of the match will not impact the tournament, but it gives a chance for Dhoni’s men to give a chance to some of the fringe players in the side. For UAE, they play for nothing but pride.


India: MS Dhoni (c & wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ashish Nehra, Ajinkya Rahane, Parthiv Patel (wk), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harbhajan Singh.

United Arab Emirates (UAE): Amjad Javed (c),Rohan Mustafa, Muhammad Kaleem, Mohammad Shahzad, Muhammad Usman, Shaiman Anwar, Swapnil Patil (wk), Saqlain Haider, Ahmed Raza, Mohammad Naveed, Qadeer Ahmed, Fahad Tariq, Farhan Ahmed, Zaheer Maqsood, Usman Mushtaq.

TIME: 19.00 IST | 13.30 GMT | 19.30 Local

(Pramod Ananth is a reporter at CricketCountry. He has represented Karnataka table tennis under-15, and is a hardcore supporter of Liverpool FC. His Twitter handle is @pramz)

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