The tournament's last league game is officially a dead rubber. India has already advanced to the final, while Bangladesh has been knocked out. As a result, this match provides an opportunity for both teams' fringe players to get some game time. Bangladesh, in particular, has yet to pick their World Cup squad, so this could be a last chance for players whose places are dangling by a thread. In contrast, India has already released its 15-man team, but with the modern cricketing schedule, injuries are unavoidable, so they'd want to make sure the backups get some time in the middle.
Bangladesh's campaign has been "so close yet so far." They had one comfortable win over Afghanistan but were deemed wanting in the other three games. Bangladesh had the ability to win both matches against Sri Lanka, particularly the Super 4s battle, but their batting let them down. A similar scenario occurred against Pakistan, when Shakib Al Hasan's team failed to capitalise on a superb batting pitch and were bowled out. With the World Cup approaching, it is a huge source of concern for them.
India has had a successful campaign thus far. Their middle order was put under strain against Pakistan in the tournament opener, and while the game ended in a draw, the recovery would have impressed the management. Similarly, the bowling unit's efforts in defending an under-par score in the previous game were another box checked. The victories have all been impressive, albeit there are some slight flaws that skipper Rohit Sharma acknowledged during post-match talks. Overall, India appears to be gaining much-needed impetus at the moment.
When: Friday, September 15 at 3:00 PM Local Time
Where: R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
What to expect: Since this is traditionally the post-monsoon season in Sri Lanka, the recent rains are certainly not seasonal showers. Unfortunately, more of the same is predicted for Friday, and we may be in for another stop-start battle. The surface should be slow with some turn on offer, but that might all change depending on how much rain falls at regular intervals. More wetness, as shown in past games, may allow for more flamboyant seam movement.
India: With the India-Pakistan game taking two days and the India-Sri Lanka game the next day, expect Rohit and co to make some changes. Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, and Tilak Varma might all be considered for inclusion in the XI. Iyer and Varma batted the longest in the nets sessions, with the former appearing fit for a comeback. Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah may be rested to keep their workloads under check. The decision between Axar Patel and Shardul Thakur will be determined based on the circumstances. Mohammed Shami is expected to start in place of Bumrah.
Probable XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul(wk), Tilak Varma/Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel/Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj
Bangladesh: It's a challenging position for them because they're already out of the tournament and have been missing a few important players since the beginning. This is a great situation for them to reconsider their whole combination. Mohammed Naim's status could be in jeopardy due to his inability to convert starts, while Mushfiqur Rahim's absence could open the door for Afif Hossain. Anamul Haque, a late addition to the event, could challenge Naim for the opening berth, while Tanzid Hasan is also in the running. Mehidy Hasan Miraz will remain one of the openers.
Probable XI: Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mohammed Naim/Tanzid Hasan, Litton Das(wk), Shakib Al Hasan(c), Towhid Hridoy, Afif Hossain, Shamim Hossain, Nasum Ahmed, Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Hasan Mahmud
Did you know that?
- With 21 wickets in 10 innings, Taskin Ahmed is Bangladesh's highest wicket-taker in 2023. He has six times taken two or more wickets.
- Rohit Sharma's past five innings in multi-national events against Bangladesh were 137, 123*, 83*, 48, and 104.
What they had to say:
"They (Bangladesh) have been very competitive in recent years, playing good cricket." They're getting a good quick bowling squad. We must perform to our full ability." — India's bowling coach, Paras Mhambrey, about their opponents.
India Squad: Rohit Sharma(c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul(w), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Shardul Thakur, Prasidh Krishna, Tilak Varma
Bangladesh Squad: Mohammad Naim, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Litton Das(w), Shakib Al Hasan(c), Towhid Hridoy, Shamim Hossain, Nasum Ahmed, Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Hasan Mahmud, Mustafizur Rahman, Mahedi Hasan, Anamul Haque, Afif Hossain, Tanzid Hasan, Tanzim Hasan Sakib