England will be bolstered by the returns of Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes, while Bangladesh will be similarly fortified by the return of skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and Tamim Iqbal, both of whom sat out the India warm-up debacle.
Though the players of both camps have tried their best to keep away from the political views and counter views around the match, the undercurrents are palpable given the cautious replies coming from either camps in the build-up to the game. Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya steered India to a commendable score since this pair scored a 86 runs partnership for the 6th wicket.
As the play-off between arch-rivals in mini World Cup is nearing, players are exchanging statements to take mental advantage over each other before the game. The captain averages almost 82 in his last 16 ODI innings and top-scored with 43 in the 2013 final, which was reduced to 20 overs because of rain.
"Ab koi muqabla nahi raha India Pakistan ka (India- Pakistan match is not the contest it used to be)".
The Bangladesh batsmen struggled to cope up with the pace and bounce of the Indian opening bowlers as Kumar (3-13) and Umesh (3-16) picked three wickets apiece inside eight overs to account for Imrul Kayes (7), Soumya Sarkar (2), Sabbir Rahman (0), Shakib Al Hasan (7), Mahmudullah (0) and Mosaddek (0) to leave them reeling at 22 for six. The hosts have the firepower up front with unsafe hitters in Sam Billings, Alex Hales and Jason Roy.The middle order looks well settled with classy and ever dependable Joe Root. That is something he is accustomed to and did so in the IPL with Gujarat Lions a couple of times. I feel the couple of weeks rest after the Indian Premier League has helped him.
"But if there's a bit of cloud cover, the bowler gets the upper hand".
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza admits England have players to fear from one to 11 but says they must prove they can handle the pressure of starting the Champions Trophy as favourites on home soil.
However, the eternal chokers tag is something that would always be an issue for the Proteas considering their dismal record at ICC events.
Pakistan are an unpredictable team which has talent that often doesn't translate into performance.
And this time, leg-spinner Shadab Khan and all-rounder Faheem Ashraf are new kids on the block. But Karthik showed composure during his innings under mostly overcast conditions.
New Zealand, the eternal bridesmaid of global cricket, will bank on their skipper Kane Williamson and all- rounder Corey Anderson to make a difference.
Sangakkara, who quit global cricket two years ago having scored a total of 28,016 worldwide runs across all formats, said the competition was going to be very tough with 4 -5 teams having the potential of making it to the final.