In Stats: Odds Favour India; Bangladesh Lack Personnel, Experience
India’s dominant form in recent times makes them overwhelming favourites to win the Asia Cup again.
Team India will look to retain their regional supremacy when they take on Bangladesh in the final of the Asia Cup 2018, which will be played at the Dubai Cricket Stadium on Friday, 28 September. India are reigning Asia Cup champions having won the previous tournament held in Bangladesh in 2016.
Team India had a scare early in the tournament when Hong Kong ran them close, but Rohit Sharma and company have since cruised to the final – being the only unbeaten side in the competition. Bangladesh meanwhile caused an upset when they defeated Pakistan in the final Super Four stage match to book a berth in the title clash.
Friday’s match will be team India's first ODI final in nearly 15 months; the team's last appearance in a final was in the ICC Champions Trophy held in England in June 2017. Since the loss to Pakistan in that match, India have a 26-7 win-loss record.
Such dominant form in recent times and their general domination of Bangladesh lately make India overwhelming favourites to win the Asia Cup again.
Several players in the Indian team have the experience of playing in big tournament finals, and have been part of tournament winning sides in the past. The experience of playing in such high-stakes matches can be an invaluable asset to have, and that is one of the many areas Bangladesh will be lacking in. In the time they have competed in international cricket, Bangladesh have only ever competed in five tournament finals, and have never ended on the winning side.
In the context of the current tournament, India's four wins have been powered by the top-order. The openers have fired almost always – which has meant there has been very little for the rest of the batting line-up to do. For Bangladesh though, the top order has done little of note, and therefore the middle order has had to rescue the team repeatedly.
India's lowest opening partnership in this Asia Cup is 45 and the aggregate of Team India's opening partnerships is 512 runs. In contrast, the aggregate of Bangladesh's opening partnerships in their five matches stands at 52 runs.
It is likely that India, having rested some of the key players for the match against Afghanistan, will field a full-strength side yet again. Bangladesh will be handicapped without the services of their top two run-getters in ODIs; Tamim Iqbal and Shakib-al-Hasan will not figure in Bangladesh's XI having returned home with broken fingers.
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