After 6 group matches and 6 Super Four matches, we have the final two teams of Asia Cup. It is quite predictable that India will make it to the final, but the real question was who will be the second finalist. While initial guess was Pakistan or Sri Lanka; after group matches, some even gave Brave Afghanistan the spot. But it is Bangladesh in the end to play the final. This can be considered as the closest ever Asia Cup. Even Honk Kong did well against India and nearly won the match.
So, what is the prediction for the finals? Yes, India is a super favorite. They have not lost a single match in this tournament. They came without Captain Kohli, but Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have been sensational. In their last league match, they played for a tie against Afghanistan. However, they rested most of their key players for final.
|Match||India vs Bangladesh, Final|
|Date||28 September 2018 (50-over match)|
|Time||11:30 AM GMT / 03:30 PM LOCAL|
|Venue||Dubai International Cricket Stadium , Dubai|
On paper, Indian batting lineup is far better and stronger than Bangladesh batting. They have a solid opening pair. In middle Rayudu, Karthik, Jadhav, and Dhoni look strong. Jadeja can give late inning push. In bowling, they have Kuldeep Yadav, Chahal, Jadeja, Jadhav, Bhubaneshwar and Bumrah. Can Bangladesh afford to leak runs against this bowling lineup? Their openers have mostly failed till now. The middle order looks shaky after Rahim and Mithun. Tamim is still injured, and even Shakib was not fit in the last match.
But, their bowling is much stronger. In the last match, they bowled Pakistan around 200. Mustafizur is in great touch. If he can get healthy support from others, they can cause trouble to Indian batting. Remember both teams did not play their A team in the last match respectively and yet, Bangladesh came victorious against powerful Pakistan and India had to split the points with Afghanistan with a tie.
So, the momentum is favoring Bangladesh. But can they keep it in the final? They do tend to be nervous against India in key matches. Especially in the final moments when they have lost few matches in the recent past.
If Dhawan and Sharma withstand the first ten overs, India will be real favorites even if they bat first or chase the target. Indian middle order is not much tested so that will be key towards the match outcome. However, on the paper, it is advantage India.