Mashrafe Mortaza, the captain of the Bangladesh team, feels that it would be an advantage for them when both the teams meet on Friday as the Men in Blue would be playing without their regular skipper and star batsman Virat Kohli.
Cricket news: After the long tour of England, Virat Kohli has been rested in the ongoing Asia Cup
India and Bangladesh will kick start the Super 4 phase of the tournament in Dubai. While India and Pakistan qualified from Group A, it was Bangladesh and Afghanistan who qualified from Group B.
Bangladesh won convincingly in their first game against Sri Lanka but later faltered in their second game against Afghanistan and ended as group runners-up.
India’s regular skipper Virat Kohli was given a rest after a long 3 T20Is, 3 ODIs and 5 Tests series against England. Kohli had performed well in the series, especially in the Tests where he scored 593 runs.
In his absence his deputy Rohit Sharma is leading the team and has been doing the job quite nicely. India are the defending champions of the tournament as they beat Bangladesh in the final of the 2016 edition.
When Mortaza was asked if Kohli’s absence would be of any help, he replied, “Why only Bangladesh, his (Kohli) absence is an advantage for everyone. We are also missing Tamim Iqbal which can be an advantage for every other team. His record speaks for itself as he has been a star for Bangladesh. Obviously his absence will be a big blow for us but it also presents a huge opportunity for the other youngsters.”
Tamim Iqbal fractured his left wrist in the opening game against Sri Lanka and had to go to the dressing room. Later he came back to bat with one hand and was lauded for his bravery.
The previous encounter between the two teams was in the final of the Nidahas Trophy, a T20 tri-series played between India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to commemorate Sri Lanka’s 70th year of independence.
Having put to bat first, Bangladesh scored a fighting 166 runs. Indian batsmen failed to score freely and the equation came to the last ball where India needed 5 runs to win.
Dinesh Karthik smashed Soumya Sarkar’s final delivery for a flat six over cover and won the game in a thriller which left the Bangladesh fans in disbelief.