India will play their last league game of the Asia Cup T20 2016 against UAE at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, Dhaka, Thursday.
Having beaten Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka comprehensively, India will look to make it four in four when they will take on the listless UAE. In that way, it will help the Men in Blue carry on with their winning momentum before they lock horns with Bangladesh in the final of the Asia Cup, Sunday, at the same venue.
India captain MS Dhoni had mentioned about making few changes to the squad ahead of the UAE match. Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, Pawan Negi, Parthiv Patel and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are yet to get a game in this edition of the Asia Cup.
However, Dhoni did not promise that all four of them will get to play against UAE, but a few changes look imminent.
Dhoni himself had a problem of back spasm at the beginning of the tournament. It is highly unlikely that he will rest himself, but he still might consider that decision and let Virat Kohli take charge for their encounter against UAE. In that case, Parthiv Patel's selection in the playing XI becomes automatic.
Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have always been the first choice of spinners for Dhoni in the recent past and that has kept Singh and Negi on the bench. This is the perfect situation for Dhoni to test his bench strength ahead of the ICC World T20 2016.
Rohit Sharma went through a prolonged injury test ahead of their previous game against Sri Lanka and he seemed to have passed the test. His place at the top of the order looks safe.
However, Shikhar Dhawan is yet to play a good knock in this tournament and that might open the door for Ajinkya Rahane, who has played only one match and that too against Pakistan and he was out for a golden duck.
On the other hand, UAE are unlikely to make any changes to their lineup ahead of their last game of the Asia Cup. They will look to put up a spirited show against India, Thursday.
The wicket has acted slightly different in the last few matches from that of the first few games of the tournament. The ball is carrying nicely to the wicketkeeper and it has a lot of bounce as well. It is not going to change much and the team winning the toss should ideally bowl first in such conditions.
Expected playing XI's:
India: Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (C & wk)/Parthiv Patel, Pawan Negi, Harbhajan Singh, Ashish Nehra, Jasprit Bumrah.
UAE: Rohan Mustafa, Muhammad Kaleem, Mohammad Shahzad, Shaiman Anwar, Mohammad Usman, Amjad Javed (C), Usman Mushtaq, Swapnil Patil (wk), Mohammad Naveed, Ahmed Raza, Fahad Tariq.