XtraTime Web Desk: India captain Rohit Sharma praised his team’s effort after they pipped Bangladesh in a tense final match to win the Asia Cup 2018 title on Friday, 28 September in Dubai.
India went into the final of the tournament as favourites but were run extremely close by Bangladesh. In defence of 223, the Bangladesh bowlers were consistent, keeping India in check before they finally scrapped through on the last ball of the innings with three wickets to spare.
Although India were involved in a few tense matches against teams like Hong Kong, Afghanistan and finally Bangladesh, they managed to stay undefeated throughout. Sharma, the captain, was pleased with the performance, lauding the team for excelling in all departments.
“The spinners have performed consistently in the previous six to eight months, so that’s a positive sign for us,” he said after the game. “It wasn’t easy for the fast bowlers to bowl in these conditions, because there wasn’t much help from the pitch for them, but they had good understanding of the conditions and bowled accordingly.”
“The middle order didn’t get as many chances as we would have liked because the top order batted a lot throughout the tournament. But they showed signs of handling the pressure well whenever they got the chance. Overall, we have been dominating from start to end.”
Against fine death bowling by Bangladesh, India’s march towards the title had begun looking a bit shaky, but Kedar Jadhav held his nerve in a 27-ball 23 to help India over the line.
“I have been part of games like this before and credit to the guys in the middle to handle the pressure. To cross the finish line was a fantastic effort,” said Sharma in the post match presentation.
It wasn’t just the Bangladesh bowlers who troubled India though. Liton Das scored a brilliant 117-ball 121 on a pitch where most others struggled, and put up an opening partnership of 120 with Mehidy Hasan. India, though, pulled things back commendably from there.
“You have to give some credit to Bangladesh. They put us under pressure in the first 10 overs. We thought if the ball got older, the spinners would do the work for us. It was important to keep it tight and we have done that well throughout the tournament,” Sharma offered.
For Sharma, who captained the side in absence of the rested Virat Kohli, the tournament victory was a neat achievement to add to his leadership resume, but he deferred the credit to the team.
“If you have a team like that, the captain will always look good. It wouldn’t be easy if we didn’t have the support of the remaining 10 players, so I am really proud of the boys,” he said.