Bangladesh: Driven into a cornerafter their defeat to Sri Lanka, India will look to regroup quickly and plug their loopholes as they go into the make or break match against arch-rivals Pakistan in the Asia Cup in Mirpur on Sunday. With back-to-back victories over Pakistan and India, Sri Lanka have virtually assured themselves of a berth in the final of the Asia Cup, and now it's a two-way battle between the traditional rivals to be the other finalists in the five-nation tournament.
Both teams go into the match on an even keel, a win and one loss each, but the defending champions Pakistan have a slight edge as they have a bonus point in their kitty from their win against associate nation Afghanistan. India registered a facile victory over hosts Bangladesh in their tournament opener but went down to Sri Lanka by two wickets on Friday. Pakistan were also beaten by a narrow 12-run margin by the same opponents in their opening match of the Asia Cup.
For India, it was Virat Kohli's sparkling century that did the job against Bangladesh, while for Pakistan Umar Akmal's timely ton saved them from what could have been an embarrassing loss to Afghanistan.
But the sheer importance of the contest will mean that the past records will have little relevance as the two teams look to renew their rivalry and take some brownie points. A new look middle order's lack of execution would be a concern for the Indian team and the team management might think of including Cheteshwar Pujara to bring in some odity.
With time running out fast for India in this tournament, it will be a riddle if Pujara continues to warm the bench. Test specialist Pujara might not have been in the hard-hitting mould but he would be capable of providing the much needed stability, which was lacking in the Indian batting u against Sri Lanka....