17 Nov

Asia Cup 2018 Final: India clear favourites against charged-up Bangladesh

first_imgSo, there will be no India vs Pakistan final in the Asia Cup. There will be no revenge for Pakistan, who were decimated by India in the two matches the arch-rivals played in the tournament.A day before their final Super Four match against Bangladesh, Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur had spoken like he was sure of the result already. “Pakistan will win their last Super Four game against Bangladesh on Wednesday,” Geo TV quoted Arthur, as saying. “They will then take revenge for the two losses against India by beating them in the final,” he added.A little over 24 hours later, Arthur was distraught while his captain Sarfraz Ahmed had to front up to the media and admit that his team played horrible cricket throughout the tournament.Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Afghanistan stars console heartbroken young Indian fanBangladesh, who were beaten soundly by Afghanistan in the group stage and India in the Super Fours, had managed to stay afloat with a thrilling three-run win over Afghanistan in their first Super Four game.Another day, another match, another dominating performance. #TeamIndia seal the game against Bangladesh by 7 wickets #AsiaCup2018 #INDvBAN pic.twitter.com/Fntb9xt05XBCCI (@BCCI) September 21, 2018Pakistan were far from impressive against India and even in their victory over Afghanistan. Bangladesh was always going to be a banana peel and on Wednesday, Pakistan slipped sensationally. They had reduced Bangladesh to 12/3 before Sarfraz’s poor choices on the field allowed them to post a competitive total.Pakistan vs Bangladesh: Match report | HighlightsadvertisementAnd once Pakistan lost those early wickets and Shoaib Malik was brilliantly caught by Mashrafe Mortaza, it was always going to be an uphill task even for a determined Imam-ul-Haq.Bangladesh were clinical with the ball and their inspired fielding meant Pakistan had no breathing space.Also read – We were poor in all departments, my own performance bad: Sarfraz AhmedAnd it is this charged-up Bangladeshi outfit that will take on India, who have been superb after an insipid start against Hong Kong. They brushed aside Pakistan (twice) and Bangladesh in the Super Four before resting five of their key players in the dead rubber against Afghanistan. The match ended in a tie.Also Read – Innings vs Pakistan will be in my top five, says Mushfiqur RahimIndia, therefore, are the only unbeaten team in the tournament. And their best players are fresh. Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal last played on Sunday and they would be raring to go after a four-day break.Also read – India best side in the world, we need to learn from them: Shoaib MalikIndia’s batting has looked solid even without Virat Kohli. Some experts believed his absence will give Pakistan a psychological advantage but that was not to be. Dhawan and Rohit have been brilliant while Ambati Rayudu, filling in for Kohli at No.3, has been rock-solid.Also Read – Mashrafe Mortaza lauds ‘quality’ fielding against PakistanRavi Shastri presents the Hitman & Gabbar Show.What happens when coach @RaviShastriOfc turns presenter and does a rendezvous with captain @ImRo45 & @SDhawan25 ? You wouldn’t want to miss this – by @28anandhttps://t.co/M8N2oSkwhN pic.twitter.com/gkP4PaKDQJBCCI (@BCCI) September 24, 2018Dinesh Karthik has played a couple of fluent knocks while KL Rahul made an impact in the only game he played (vs Afghanistan).The bowlers, as usual, have been India’s heroes. Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar have been reletnless while Kuldeep Yadav, Chahal and Ravindra Jadeja have spun a web around the opposition batsmen. Kedar Jadhav has been useful too, with his part-time off-spinners.In short, India have been brutal and ruthless. They adjusted pretty quickly to the unrelenting heat of Dubai after three months in England and asserted their authority over the other Asian teams.On the other hand, Bangladesh were a little disappointing before they turned on their A-game against Pakistan. Yes, they defeated Sri Lanka but the crushing defeats against Afghanistan and India must have left them emotionally drained. A nail-biting win over Afghanistan must have helped soothe some nerves before a virtual semi-final against an unpredictable Pakistan.But up against India, it won’t be easy. Bangladesh will be without Tamim Iqbal and Shakib-al-Hasan, who were ruled out of the Asia Cup due to injuries at different stages. And then there’s the matter of confidence.The India-Bangladesh rivalry really gained momentum after the World Cup quarterfinals in 2015. Shortly after, India toured Bangladesh and lost a three-match ODi series. Bangladesh were on top of the world and their joy knew no bound when they came close to upstaging India in the 2016 World T20, However, harakiri by their batsmen with only a handful to get allowed India to walk away with a one-run win.advertisementWant to know where @imjadeja’s love for quirky hairstyles comes from?Watch the full conversation between #TeamIndia’s fielding coach @coach_rsridhar & comeback star Ravindra Jadeja – by @28anand.Full interview here https://t.co/sXiIbq3qm5 pic.twitter.com/VJxoBqxw2aBCCI (@BCCI) September 22, 2018The two teams met again in the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy – there was plenty of hype around the game but India romped home by nine wickets.In the Nidahas Trophy earlier this year, India defeated Bangladesh thrice including the final where Dinesh Karthik clobbered 29 off just 8 balls.Bangladesh are no pushovers by any means now but India are the clear favourites. India have all their boxes ticked – the openers have been brilliant and the bowlers disciplined.It still promises to be a humdinger of a match on Friday. There is no doubt Bangladesh will win the bragging rights if they do manage to upset the mighty India team. But no matter what the result is on September 28, another glorious chapter is set to be added to the India-Bangladesh rivarly.last_img read more