Mirpur: India will aim at continuing their winning chariot against underdogs United Arab Emirates (UAE) in their last group match in the Asia Cup at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium here today.
Leading the pool table with six points after defeating hosts Bangladesh, arch-rivals Pakistan and Sri Lanka, India has already made it to the finals after registering a five-wicket win over the Lankans.
In view of India's position in terms of the points tally, Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni may decide to make a few changes in the team's final line-up in order to give match practice to some of the players who have not featured in the tournament till now.
"We'll definitely make a few changes in the coming games. How many we can, that's something we will have to see. Because we still want the strength and the composition of the side to be very good," Dhoni told reporters.
"I think most of the players will definitely get a chance in the next game. Whether all the people who are sitting outside will get a chance, we're not sure. But we will try to make as many changes as possible," he added.
The Indian team management may consider including the likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Harbhajan Singh, Pawan Negi and Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the line-up for the UAE game.
Among the four, Rahane is the one who has the best chance to be selected. The right-hander has been in good form in recent months and may be included in place of the off-colour Shikhar Dhawan.
The Indian think-tank may also decide to rest veteran pacer Ashish Nehra in order to keep him fresh for the final. The 36-year-old Nehra has been in excellent form, picking up five wickets in the tournament so far. If the team management does decide to rest the Delhi pacer, Bhuvneshwar Kumar may be included in his place.
The spin bowling combination may also witness a change as experienced off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and left-armer Pawan Negi may replace Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja for this particular game.
Negi, who was the most expensive Indian player during the recent Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, will also be valuable for his ability to produce the big hits lower down the order.
The UAE, on the other hand, will look to their captain Amjad Javed to lead from the front. Javed has bagged 12 wickets from the UAE's six matches in this tournament (including the qualifiers) and will hope to inflict some early blows on the Indian batting.
But the rest of the UAE bowlers are expected to be cannon fodder against the likes of Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh and Dhoni.
(With IANS inputs)