Unpredictable sides make for nice knockout video games, so the Bangladesh-Pakistan encounter in Abu Dhabi, which can decide India’s opponents within the closing, is unlikely be any completely different. Pakistan generally is a harmful aspect in crunch conditions whereas Bangladesh would see making the Asia Cup closing a giant step of their progress as an ODI pressure, particularly with the World Cup now eight months away.
Not making the ultimate can be seen as a backward step for Pakistan’s ODI set-up, particularly after their Champions Trophy triumph final yr. However to this point their common Asia Cup marketing campaign goes with their latest development of utmost highs and lows from collection to collection. In October final yr, they beat Sri Lanka 5-Zero earlier than being blanked 5-Zero by New Zealand. They beat Zimbabwe 5-Zero within the final ODI project earlier than the Asia Cup the place they’ve received towards Hong Kong and Afghanistan, however misplaced each occasions to India and comprehensively so.
Mohammad Amir going wicketless in his final six ODIs has been shocking, whereas Hasan Ali, the one fast bowler picked in each sport within the Asia Cup, has taken three wickets at 51.66 every. Shadab Khan due to this fact has to take up tasks towards a Bangladesh batting line-up that may be inclined towards legspin.
Pakistan would even have to select up their fielding, having dropped too many catches of their final two matches towards Afghanistan (5) and India (three). On high of those bowling and fielding woes, Pakistan additionally wants runs from three batsmen amongst their common high six.
Fakhar Zaman, who made a file 210 towards Zimbabwe in July, has to this point made simply 55 runs within the match. Captain Sarfraz Ahmed and Asif Ali have made 58 and 46 respectively, within the 4 matches to this point. Runs have principally come from Shoaib Malik, Babar Azam and Imam-ul-Haq, however towards Bangladesh’s environment friendly bowling line-up they can’t afford a top-order collapse or a poor end.
Bangladesh are at occasions inclined of their dying bowling apart from Mustafizur Rahman, whose skillful mixture of slower balls, yorkers and bouncers troubles big-hitters. Mashrafe Mortaza and Mehidy Hasan Miraz usually maintain it tight within the first Powerplay whereas Mustafizur, Shakib and Rubel maintain the run-rate down within the middle-overs.
However Bangladesh grow to be a stronger bowling unit after they submit at the very least a aggressive complete. Liton Das’ 41 can be encouraging for the workforce administration however his opening accomplice within the final three video games, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, has made a poor begin to his ODI profession with simply 20 runs.
Consequently, Imrul Kayes, who made 72 batting at No. 6 for the primary time in his profession within the earlier sport, could also be despatched to No. three with Mohammad Mithun reverting again to No. 5. It could imply they’ve two senior batsmen in Imrul and Shakib within the high 4, whereas the in-form Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah have the aptitude to cease a batting collapse or, in a greater state of affairs, go after the bowling within the final 10 overs.
Neither workforce can nonetheless be assured of every little thing going to plan. They’re unpredictable and at occasions flawed, which often makes for gripping viewing.
Bangladesh WLLWL (final 5 matches, most up-to-date first)
Within the highlight
Mustafizur Rahman’s last-over heroics handed Bangladesh the win towards Afghanistan, and bowling within the final 5 overs is quick turning into his greatest power. Within the final three years, he has been one in every of solely two bowlers to have an financial system charge of underneath six per over throughout that interval in ODIs.
Shoaib Malik has been Pakistan’s foremost scorer within the match, having made 181 runs in 4 matches. He would additionally wish to enhance his ODI file towards Bangladesh, having scored only one half-century towards them in 13 innings.
Bangladesh often does not make adjustments after they have simply received a sport, particularly when they’re taking part in on the similar venue.
Bangladesh (possible): 1 Liton Das 2 Nazmul Hossain Shanto, three Mohammad Mithun, four Shakib Al Hasan, 5 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 6 Imrul Kayes, 7 Mahmudullah, eight Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), 9 Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 10 Nazmul Islam, 11 Mustafizur Rahman
Batting and bowling woes could tempt Pakistan into attempting out Shan Masood and Junaid Khan for the primary time within the match. Nevertheless it additionally doesn’t suggest the likes of Faheem Ashraf, Haris Sohail and Usman Khan cannot be hopeful of a spot within the XI.
Pakistan (possible): 1 Imam-ul-Haq, 2 Fakhar Zaman, three Babar Azam, four Sarfraz Ahmed, 5 Shoaib Malik, 6 Asif Ali, 7 Shadab Khan, eight Mohammad Nawaz, 9 Hasan Ali, 10 Usman Khan, 11 Shaheen Shah Afridi
Pitch and situations
Solely Pakistan have received whereas chasing in Abu Dhabi within the 4 Asia Cup video games held right here to this point, so it stays a bat-first floor. There might be no let-up within the warmth.
Stats and trivia
Pakistan have received 31 out of 35 ODIs towards Bangladesh, however three of these 4 defeats got here within the 2015 ODI collection.
Shakib Al Hasan’s direct hit that ran out Rahmat Shah of their earlier sport was solely Bangladesh’s third run-out with a direct hit within the final 12 months. Shakib has two of them, Imrul Kayes the opposite.
Shoaib Malik is 54 runs away from eclipsing Younis Khan’s 7,249 runs, which can take him to sixth place in Pakistan’s all-time ODI run-scorers record.
“Pakistan are a troublesome cricketing nation and wish to put issues proper. I did learn some feedback from Mickey Arthur about a few of their techniques and that is the very motive I’m attempting to not give our techniques away. However I do know what he needed his bowlers and batsmen to do and they didn’t do it in these video games. They’re workforce they usually can very a lot bounce again.”
Bangladesh coach Steve Rhodes retains his playing cards near his chest