“That will be a challenge for sure”

Deep Dasgupta expects Virat Kohli to be challenged by Shakib Al Hasan in the Asia Cup 2023 Super Four clash between India and Bangladesh.

The two sides will square off at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Friday, September 15. It will be interesting to see whether Kohli is part of India’s playing XI as he might be rested to allow one of the players waiting on the sidelines a look-in, considering it is an inconsequential match.

During an interaction on the Star Sports show Game Plan, Dasgupta was asked about Kohli‘s potential battle with the left-arm spin of Shakib, to which he responded:

“We don’t know how the pitch will be because we have seen pitches where the ball is stopping and coming. So there will be even more help for Shakib and the other spinners there. So that will be a challenge for sure.”

The former Indian wicketkeeper-batter feels if the contest materializes, it will hold the modern batting great in good stead. He explained:

“Shakib is one of the top all-rounders in world cricket. However, this is another opportunity for practice because going forward the World Cup will also be played in India. So you might get a lot of left-arm spinners there. So it’s a good challenge and test from every perspective.”

Dasgupta highlighted that Bangladesh might also field another left-arm spinner in Nasum Ahmed. He added that the Tigers possess a good seam attack as well, which can pose a challenge to the Indian batters.

“There is no need to test the bench strength now” – Deep Dasgupta wants India to field their best XI

Suryakumar Yadav and Shreyas Iyer might get chances against Bangladesh.
Suryakumar Yadav and Shreyas Iyer might get chances against Bangladesh.

Deep Dasgupta was also asked whether India should look to test their bench strength against Bangladesh, to which he replied:

“There is no need to test the bench strength now because you have the final after this game. You want to carry the momentum. You have a three-match series against Australia after this, you can rest one or two players there. You can test your bench strength there.”

The cricketer-turned-commentator feels Rohit Sharma and Co. should play their best XI unless there are any injury issues. He reasoned:

“I believe if it’s not necessary, if there is no niggle or injury, play the same team that you will play in the final because there is a day’s break in between as well. You have got a break before this as well. So go with the same team. Don’t break the momentum you have got.”

Cricket experts are split on whether India should test their bench strength in Friday’s game. While some believe it is the best opportunity to do so, considering the match is only of academic interest, others feel such a move could break the rhythm ahead of the final.

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Edited by Sai Krishna

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