Clinical India eye Nidahas Trophy 2018 crown vs desperate Bangladesh | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Clinical India eye Nidahas Trophy 2018 crown vs desperate Bangladesh

Bangladesh have never defeated India in T20s in the seven games the two have played so far, and will be desperate to get one over the Rohit Sharma-led side in the Nidahas Trophy 2018 T20 final in Colombo on Sunday

cricket Updated: Mar 17, 2018 21:51 IST
India will take on Bangladesh in the final of the Nidahas Trophy 2018 T20 tri-series at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Sunday.
India will take on Bangladesh in the final of the Nidahas Trophy 2018 T20 tri-series at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Sunday.(AFP)

For five games in the Nidahas Trophy T20 tri-series, the script was going according to plan. A dominant India entered the final while Bangladesh and Sri Lanka would battle it out for the other spot. In the last match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, Mahmudullah’s six amid an on-field fracas raised the level of interest in the tournament.

Bangladesh head into the final on the back of broken dressing room glass, threat of calling the players back during a match and some verbal jousting. The last-over fracas against Sri Lanka has not won Shakib Al Hasan’s side plenty of friends.

Having been left off by the ICC with just a 25 per cent of his match fee as fine, Bangladesh will now be desperately aiming to break their hoodoo against India. Bangladesh have never defeated India in T20s in the seven games the two have played so far.

Shakib inspiration

The arrival of Shakib for the Sri Lanka match, interpreted by a few as a desperate measure, gave a certain spark to the side. The bowlers responded by reducing Sri Lanka to 35/4, while the batsmen benefited from an extra buffer which allowed the likes of Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah to get Bangladesh over the line. On Sunday, the challenge for Bangladesh will be to maintain consistency in batting and bowling, something their interim head coach Courtney Walsh has stressed on.

An area of concern for Bangladesh would be their death bowling. In their last two games against India and Sri Lanka, their last 10 overs yielded 105 and 106 runs, respectively. Shakib’s side cannot afford to gift runs away in the death overs against India.

Ticking all boxes

After suffering a blip in the first game against Sri Lanka, questions were raised on India’s batting. In the next two games, all the batsmen got decent hits. Dinesh Karthik and Manish Pandey’s 68-run stand got India over the line in a tricky situation against the hosts, while Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina got the runs in the last league game.

In the nets session ahead of the final, all the batsmen practiced against the short ball, in particular Suresh Raina and Shikhar Dhawan. Jaydev Unadkat once again put in the hard strides and he could replace Mohammed Siraj for the final.

Unadkat’s inclusion further strengthens the bowling, which has been buoyed by the likes of Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur.

Sundar, in particular, has been sensational. His seven wickets at an economy rate of 5.87 is remarkable considering he bowls two overs in the powerplay and one in the death. Backed by Thakur’s variations and Yuzvendra Chahal’s guile, India’s bowling is their strongest.

Both teams will be hoping that rain stays away for this contest. The forecast in Colombo for Sunday is not too promising and in the event of a washout, both teams will share the trophy.