Watch Asia Cup 2016 live streamingThis year’s Asia Cup will be the 13th edition of the series that takes place once in two years, and will feature India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, in addition to one qualifying country from among Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Oman, and United Arab Emirates. The qualifiers will be played out before the tournament commences on February 24.Bangladesh will be the host to all competing nations in the 2016 Asia Cup, with all matches set to be played at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in Mirpur. The tournament opens with Bangladesh taking on India.
India and Bangladesh will face off in the first match of Asia Cup 2016 at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur in Dhaka on Wednesday. This is the first time that the Asia Cup will be played in a T20 format.
India and Bangladesh cannot be placed on level terms based on cricketing skills alone but the frenzied nature of the T20 format quells a lot of the imbalance. Bangladesh's rise in the fifty-over format cannot be directly correlated to an increase in stature in T20Is. They drew a series against Zimbabwe at home recently and will need to raise their game in T20s just as they have done in the other limited overs format.
India start the match and the tournament as favourites, but the hosts Bangladesh will come into the game with full of confidence. The Tigers had defeated the more fancied Indian team in an ODI series last year as the Men in Blue struggled to play young left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman.
Dhoni returned fitter and leaner after a rare break from international cricket just before the Australia tour in January, but suffered an onset of back spasms two days out from India's first match of the Asia Cup and three weeks out from their first match of the World T20. The team management said he was recovering well and will be assessed before the match. If he is not fit, Parthiv Patel, who last played for India in 2012, has arrived as back-up
This Bangladesh team are very much capable of beating any side in the world, and India need to be aware of the threats posed by the hosts. All it takes in the T20 game is for one player to have a blinder, and Bangladesh certainly have players with the talent to do that, both in the bowling and bating department.
Pitch and conditionsMirpur sprung a green pitch on India's juniors at the Under-19 World Cup and more recently, the final game of the Asia Cup qualifiers played under lights helped the new ball dart around considerably. If the early phase is seen through, however, lots of runs are on offer. There is also the slim possibility of rain playing spoilsport.
India: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (capt & wk)/ Parthiv Patel, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Ashish Nehra
Bangladesh: Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Mithun, Sabbir Rahman, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan, Nurul Hasan (wk),Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Arafat Sunny, Mustafizur Rahman, Al-Amin Hossain
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