India set to test bench strength against Bangladesh in Asia Cup

Rohit Sharma's team have already qualified for Sunday's final

India captain Rohit Sharma could make a number of changes for the match against Bangladesh on Friday. AFP
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India are expected to rest several first-choice players when they face Bangladesh in the last Super Four match of the Asia Cup, having already qualified for Sunday's final.

A hard-fought 41-run win over co-hosts Sri Lanka meant India made it to the title match with two wins out of two, giving them a chance to catch a breath after playing on three consecutive days earlier in the week.

India's match against Pakistan on Sunday was completed the following day due to rain – the only match apart from the final to have a reserve day – and they then faced Sri Lanka with almost the same side on Wednesday to advance.

Playing on three successive days in humid weather is not ideal, with the Indian team already filled with players returning from long injury lay-offs and with the World Cup just weeks away.

India bowling coach Paras Mhambrey said that players on the bench should expect to play against Bangladesh on Friday.

"We haven't decided on what we will do, but obviously there is an opportunity to give a game to other players since we have qualified for the final," he said on Thursday.

Batsmen Suryakumar Yadav and Tilak Varma, and fast bowlers Mohammad Shami and Prasidh Krishna should expect to expect to get game time.

However, Mhambrey said that even though there is not a lot riding on the contest, his team won't take Bangladesh lightly in conditions that suit the Tigers.

"They have played very competitive cricket in the last few years. They have got some quality fast bowlers coming through.

"From our perspective everyone that we play is important, every team is going to challenge us. Bangladesh is a good team and we will have to play our best cricket."

India could also look to bat under lights, having won their matches against Pakistan and Sri Lanka while defending. Conditions altered dramatically under lights and India might want to test themselves in those conditions, in case they have to bat second in the final.

Updated: September 14, 2023, 11:23 AM