Tri-series final: Bangladesh vs India Preview

Batsman faces bowler in front of packed cordon

With Sri Lanka having being eliminated from their own tournament, India and Bangladesh will contest Sunday's Tri-Series final. 

While Sri Lanka rue what should have been, Bangladesh and India head into a finale that'll cap a truly entertaining seven-match series. It wasn't one-sided, at all, and deserves a fitting finale.

India have played in several more finals than Bangladesh - and will know what it takes to go all the way. This isn't quite unchartered territory for the Tigers, but they're going to need their very best performance to date.
 
Bangladesh v India | Sunday, 18 March | R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo | 15:30
 
To Win Match
Bangladesh 49/20
Tie 35/1 
India 31/100

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Bangladesh
It took Bangladesh two taxing wins over Sri Lanka to get where they are - and one more, over substantially stronger opposition, will be enough for them to seal a remarkable campaign. As Thursday's outburst on the cusp of victory showed, they're going to have to keep their wits about them - and ensure emotion doesn't get in the way of physical demand.

As things turned out, Shakib Al Hasan's return from injury for the penultimate fixture didn't have that much of an impact. He managed an early wicket - and fell for just seven. Bangladesh have learnt to get on with it without him - and it showed. This high-pressure final, though, will demand a hefty showing from the veteran all-rounder - with bat and ball.

If afforded the opportunity, the Tigers bowlers must go for the kill. They simply can't afford to let a top-order collapse from the opponents off the hook, like they did earlier this week. India bat deep - and have plenty of resources down the order if Rohit Sharma and company are unable to at the top of the knock.

It's pretty much a foregone conclusion that whichever captain wins the toss will field first. No skipper has begged to differ this series, at a venue that has relatively small boundaries and suits high pursuits. India won't be fazed either way, but the Bangladeshis will be banking on their ability to chase well.

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India
India have never lost a T20I to Bangladesh, despite seven inspired attempts by the so-called minnows. Sunday, however, will present the Tigers with their best opportunity to pull off such a big upset in a long time. They're in the middle of a solid stretch of form, but need to find just that much more to undo the favourites.

The Indians, as has been well documented, rested several stars for this competition at the risk of a few defeats - and have still reached the final. Their bench strength, indeed, has stepped up well in the absence of Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and others. Heading home with a trophy will do the young guns the world of good for the future.

Washington Sundar, who is still in his teens, has certainly been the find of the tour. Open the bowling with great maturity and displaying skills and bravery beyond his meagre years, the talented spinner will come in for a big test against Liton Das, if not Tamim Iqbal, this weekend. He'll need to out-think the batsman as much as outplay them.

The progress of seam trio Vijay Shankar, Jaydev Unadkat and Shardul Thakur will be up for judgement again. The threesome has performed well enough under the watchful eye of the rested Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar - and will have another opportunity to push for higher honours in the pecking order. Yuzvendra Chahal, too, will want to insist why he should be preferred to fellow wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav.

Verdict: India 31/100
India should record their eighth straight T20I victory over Bangladesh - and with it the title of a relatively low-profile T20I tri-series. This, of course, bodes well for their next World Twenty20 campaign.

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Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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