The Asia Cup returns from a day off with a massive game in the competition on Tuesday when India take on Sri Lanka in the third match in the Super 4 phase of the tournament in Dubai on what looks to be a pivotal day.
India were beaten in their opening match of the tournament and know that anything but victory here will leave their title hopes hanging by a thread. A win for Sri Lanka will as good as have them in the final.
After an initial group phase which they came through with two wins from the two matches, India dropped the opening game of the Super 4 and much like in the T20 World Cup in this part of the world last year they are left having to play catch up and needing to win out to get themselves out of the mess they have put themselves in. They shouldn’t be too down because if you lose the toss in this tournament 25% of your chances of winning disappear if not more but having put a decent score on the board they will be disappointed to have lost as comfortably as they did.
The good thing is having experienced losing the toss against Pakistan, India will know what is coming if they lose it here and can at least be prepared for that. It still won’t be easy to overcome the obvious disadvantages but it gives them a chance. They either need to make sure they put up more runs or go hard with the ball at the top and make sure they take early wickets, even if that leaves them exposed a little at the back end of the innings.
Sri Lanka had a horrible start to the competition but they won what was a knockout match in their second game to make it through to this stage and are immediately taking advantage of what I guess you could call is a second chance to be competitive. They coasted past Afghanistan, the team who beat them in their opening match of the event, and now know that they will be in the final if they win this match.
If they are going to win this match they will need to bat like they did in that second match against Afghanistan, or the knockout one against Bangladesh. If they bat like they did in their opening match they will be in trouble. One area of concern is with the ball for Sri Lanka but a lot of that is down to the conditions and the dew which it has to be said is making a bit of a farce of the tournament. If conditions allow, Sri Lanka look to have a competitive look about them.
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India will be able to call upon the services of Avesh Khan once again and he is likely to come straight back into the side. In order to keep the same batting depth Axar Patel could replace Ravi Bishnoi for his first appearance of the tournament.
Sri Lanka look like they have finally settled on a winning combination and would only be likely to make changes if there is a late illness or injury. If any changes are made it would be to the order rather than the personnel.
We are at the stage of this tournament where we can’t bet on the outcome of the match without knowing the result of the toss so immediately we have to head to the side markets for a bet. Unfortunately without knowing which pitch the match will be played on probably takes out some of the markets like the sixes and the boundaries out of play as well but having scoured through the offerings everywhere there is one which I like the look of.
That comes in the runs India score in the first six overs where there is a 48.5 line at Betway. We are seeing scores getting higher and higher in this tournament and I’m not convinced that trend changes here. I like this line because in the three matches Sri Lanka have played in the tournament they have given up six over scores of 83, 55 and 49, the latter against Afghanistan who certainly aren’t India in the scoring department. India have just put up a score of 62 against Pakistan and in a match they have to win I expect them to go after the bowling up front, especially should Axar Patel play and offer them more batting depth.
Back India 1st 6 Overs – Over 48.5 runs for a 3/10 stake at 1.85 with Betway