Bangladesh is a balanced side, says Dhawan

Ahead of the Asia Cup final, India opener Shikhar Dhawan feels Bangladesh is a competitive side; Mashrafe Mortaza reckons it's all about fighting till the last ball.

Shikhar Dhawan is the leading run-scorer in the tournament with 327 runs.   -  AP

He may have been missing in action during the Asia Cup but India haven't really missed Virat Kohli, largely thanks to Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma literally killing the oppositions at the top of the order. Having tallied 596 runs in eight innings between them, the in-form openers have ensured India is one match away from winning the Asia Cup.

Dhawan, the newly-appointed deputy, stated his and Sharma's heroics weren't a result of the additional responsibility of the team being without run-machine Kohli. “As such, it’s not like there is extra responsibility on us because Virat isn’t there,” Dhawan said on the eve of India's final against Bangladesh.
 

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“This is the kind of tournament where there was an opportunity to test our middle order and identify combinations and players who can play for the future. Virat isn’t there but me and Rohit are there, we play every game like this is a bilateral series or any big game. It feels good to score runs, everyone thinks about consistency.”
 

Dhawan also credited Bangladesh for its rise in stature in the recent past, at least in white-ball cricket. “I guess they’re balanced, know what their strengths are, they’ve improved a lot. They’re a competitive side. Hats off to them, the way they played and won against Pakistan,” he said. “When you play all-round cricket, the results will follow. The plan we made against them in the previous game, we will try and stick to that. The conditions will remain the same, we’ll plan for individuals by looking at videos of their batsmen, revise and prepare accordingly.”

 

'Boys didn't give up'
 

Mashrafe Mortaza, the Bangladesh captain said Tamim Iqbal walking out to bat with one hand in the opening game to help Mushfiqur Rahim win the match was as good as winning the Asia Cup, but added that it was heartening to see the team not giving up despite losing two big players to injuries.
 

“Let me be honest, the moment Tamim entered the field against Sri Lanka as the last man to help Mushfiq score those runs, my Asia Cup was won,” he said.

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“I think it's a great lesson for the boys and young players will learn that it's all about fight till the last ball. It was a difficult road to final without performers like Shakib (Al Hasan) and Tamim. Good thing is that boys didn't give up although we lost at the group stage against Afghanistan and India. Boys have done really well and with a match to go, we can fight on. Let's see.”

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