Former Indian spinner Laxman Sivaramakrishnan believes that India is still struggling with their middle-order and that can be a cause of concern for Men in Blue in their quest of defending Asia Cup 2018 title against Bangladesh on Friday (September 28) in Dubai.
India is continuing with their winning streak in the ongoing Asia Cup 2018 only because of their top-order, who have been in the sublime with willow so far in the tournament, as Shikhar Dhawan is the six-nation tournament’s highest run-getter with 327 runs, while Rohit Sharma is the third with 297 runs.
India’s middle-order has been exposed during the tournament, especially against Afghanistan, as they failed to cross the line despite having a brilliant opening stand between KL Rahul and Ambati Rayudu, eventually, the match ended in a tie. Sivaramakrishnan feels that India might be concerned with their middle-order against Bangladesh in the final on Friday.
Laxman wrote in his column for Times of India, “India will put out their strongest XI for the final after rightly resting five first-choice players for the game against Afghanistan. Ambati Rayudu did his cause no harm at all with a muscular half-century and KL Rahul oozed class on his return to the ODI side, but question marks continue over the middle-order. They were put under pressure for the first time in the tournament, and while they can point to two dodgy decisions, the fact that India failed to get over the line can’t be disputed.”
Meanwhile, Sivaramakrishnan lavished praise on Bangladesh for their brilliant Asia Cup 2018 campaign even without their star players Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan, saying they have a great chance to take the Trophy to home.
He wrote, “Bangladesh can take pride in their march to the final of the Asia Cup. Their convincing victory against Pakistan in Wednesday night’s virtual semifinal was a testament to their character and depth.”
Laxman signed off, “Already without Tamim Iqbal, they had also to make do without the versatile and experienced Shakib Al Hasan, and they responded magnificently with old pro-Mushfiqur Rahim again in the forefront. Like against Sri Lanka in the league phase, Rahim rallied the batting splendidly alongside Mohammad Mithun, while Mustafizur Rahman chose the perfect night to return to wicket-taking ways.”