The Rohit Sharma-led Indian side will be seeking to shrug off their defeat against Sri Lanka when they take on Bangladesh in the second clash of the tri-series tournament. Despite key players being rested for the series, India began the Nidahas Trophy as favourites, but Kusal Perera's blistering 66-run knock in the opener helped his side down India by five wickets. The defeat would have woken the Indian side up.
India's loss also goes on to emphasise how narrow the margin for error is in the T20 format and how the favourites tag is only nominal, with a short tri-nation series in the offing, another slip-up might prove too costly for the Indian side.
The second-string side will to have bring its A-game against Bangladesh, over whom the Indians have enjoyed a 100 percent record, winning five of the previously contested encounters.
The Indian squad perhaps might be slightly short on big names, but there is no lack of potential. The key aspect of the fringe players is they are never short on eagerness and enthusiasm, being always on the lookout for the slimmest of openings to break into the national side. With the loss in the previous match, the young side would be motivated to better their performance against Bangladesh.
With the Indian Premier League, domestic T20 league and franchise-based state T20 leagues also coming to the fore, the players are well-equipped coming on to international scene.
After the first match ended in defeat, skipper Rohit said he understood the capability of the young team and backed his troops to learn from their mistakes and grow.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh come into the game on the back of a T20 series defeat to at home against Sri Lanka. They also lost the Test series 1-0. Even more worrying for the Tigers is the fact that talismanic all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan will not take part in the series due to finger injury.
Given his absence, Bangladesh will bank on the experience of senior players like Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim to do the majority of the work with the bat. Promising players like Soumya Sarkar and Sabbir Rahman will complete the batting line-up, though the latter could face stiff competition from Nurul Hasan.
On the bowling front, Mustafizur Rahman will be the leader of the pace battery with Rubel Hossain and Taskin Ahmed expected to make the XI. Among the slower bowlers, Mehidy Hasan, who first made waves in whites, is likely to play his fourth Twenty20 International with left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam to accompany him. Islam was impressive in his T20I debut series against Sri Lanka concluded in the previous month. Islam showcased his ability to bowl with the new ball in the powerplay giving away 53 runs (2/25 and 0/28) off his eight overs across two games. The 26-year-old scalped two wickets as well.
India would be hoping to see Rohit return among runs as he has slightly been off colour in T20Is ever since he scored 118 against Sri Lanka late last year. He has two ducks against his name from the last three T20Is. His opening partner Shikhar Dhawan meanwhile is in rollicking form and the Delhi-based batsman would be brimming with confidence with the recently upgraded BCCI contract.
After Dhawan's blazing 90 in the previous game, the team huffed and puffed its way to 174. Rohit too admitted the team could have accelerated a bit more towards the end. The Indian think-tank would be looking to address the middle order quandary ahead of the second game with focus once again on the young Rishabh Pant.The team requires someone from the middle order, especially batsmen coming in at number 4, 5 and 6, to take up the role of the finisher. Talk of bringing back KL Rahul into the side is also doing the rounds ahead of the clash against Bangladesh.
The R Premedasa pitch in Colombo is again expected to be favourable for the batsmen. Washington Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal did find some assistance from the surface and the same is predicted for the second fixture. Bangladesh too have quality spinners in their ranks, who will aim to make most from the slowness in the pitch.
Bangladesh: Mahmudullah (c), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Sabbir Rahman, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Abu Hider, Abu Jayed, Ariful Haque, Nazmul Islam, Nurul Hasan, Mehidy Hasan, Liton Das
India: Rohit Sharma (c), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Rishabh Pant (wk), Vijay Shankar, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohammed Siraj