While there are two assured India-Pakistan matches, one in the group league and other at the Super Four stage, the organisers, broadcasters, and the supporters will be hoping for a possible summit showdown on September 28 too.
For India, it will be a chance to see how the team reacts to pressure situations in absence of Kohli, who has been rested after a gruelling England tour, which ended with a 1-4 Test series loss earlier this week.
The team will begin its campaign on September 18 against Hong Kong, followed by the much-anticipated clash against Pakistan the next day. While Rohit Sharma has been a brilliant white ball player, his leadership skills haven’t been tested against a quality side.
He led against Sri Lanka last December but it was a below par opposition. In fact, Bangladesh, with its resources, is a better 50-over side currently. But the focal point would be how India India plays a quality Pakistan side that has a world-class fast bowler in Mohammed Aamir, a solid all rounder in Hasan Ali, a prolific opener in Fakhar Zaman and talented batsmen such as Babar Azam and Harris Sohail.
India’s main aim would be to settle its middle-order combination and also find a perfect batting position for Mahendra Singh Dhoni during the course of the tournament.
The Asia Cup has been a tournament where Bangladesh had done well over the years. During the last edition at home, it was in final although the event was competed in T20 format. In 2012, it played the finals in the 50 over format.
Shehan replaces Gunathilaka in Lanka squad
Sri Lanka has suffered another setback ahead of its Asia Cup campaign in the UAE, which starts on Saturday.
Hard-hitting opening batsman Dhanushka Gunathilaka suffered a back injury and was ruled out of the upcoming Asian Cup tournament on Thursday, just two days before its tournament opener against Bangladesh. Sri Lanka Cricket said that Gunathilaka will be replaced by the 27-year-old left-hand batsman Shehan Jayasuriya in the squad. Gunathilaka, who suffered a lower-back injury during practice, will return home from Dubai.
Earlier in the week, Sri Lanka’s Test captain Dinesh Chandimal was withdrawn from the 16-member squad after he injured a finger during a domestic Twenty20 match.
Chandimal, 28, fractured his right middle finger while playing for Colombo in a T20 league match and was withdrawn from its 16-member squad.