Dubai: India will be aiming to reassert their continental supremacy while an injury-hit Bangladesh will hope to shrug off stage fright when the two sides square off in the grand finale of the Asia Cup here Friday.
A passionate Bangladesh turned out to be the party-poopers on Wednesday as they wrecked the prospects of an India-Pakistan summit clash with a gutsy performance despite losing key players to injury.
On paper, India will remain overwhelming favourites to win the tournament for a record seventh time while Bangladesh will be hoping to be third-time lucky in a summit clash.
Final of any tournament is a one-off game in complete isolation from how a team has performed in the tournament. Even the most consistent teams have slipped on the proverbial banana peel when it has mattered the most.
Add to this the fact that the Indo-Bangla cricketing rivalry has grown in intensity.
But what is definitely a dampener for Bangladesh heading into the final is the injury woes that the side is facing.
Star batsman Tamim Iqbal is already out with a fractured hand and Bangladesh will also not have premier all-rounder Shakib-Al-Hasan in the line-up owing to a finger injury.
He is expected to undergo surgery which will also force him out of the home series against Zimbabwe starting September 30.
For India, it will be a different test though.
Match starts 5pm (IST). PTI