Asia Cup 2018: We won the tournament the day Tamim batted with one hand, says Mashrafe

Debasis Sen, Dubai: Shakib Al Hasan – Aggravated his finger injury due to which he returned back to Dhaka.

Tamim Iqbal – Dislocated finger on his left hand forced him to return home as well.

Mashraffe Mortaza – Injured his finger on left hand but will play in Friday’s final.

Mushfiqur Rahim – Injured his ribs and has been suggested to play with a bandage round his ribs as a precautionary measure.

Mahmudullah Riyadh – Breathing problem while batting on 30 runs against Pakistan.

The above information gives us a clear picture about the present situation of Bangladesh team ahead of their title clash against India in the Asia Cup final here on Friday. But nothing seems to influence the fighting spirit of the wounded Tigers.

For the Bangladesh captain, the trophy was won the day when Tamim Iqbal batted with one hand in the tournament opener.

“Let me be honest, the moment Tamim entered the field against Sri Lanka as the last man to help Mushfiqur score those runs, my Asia Cup was won,” said Mashrafe during his interaction with the media ahead of the final.

On being asked whether the injuries to several key players dent Bangladesh chances, Mortaza said, “This journey in this tournament was a difficult one as we started losing players from the very first game (Tamim Iqbal). There was also concern whether Mushfiqur Rahim could play or not but then he played despite not being fully fit. We can learn from him.”

India comfortably beat their eastern neighbours in the Super Four game.

“I think India is a far better team, they are number one in the world, the came here as the favourites, but then you never know, anything can happen. So, we will have to be mentally strong and fight till the last ball. It’s important to keep our emotion in check.”

Asked about the recipe for defeating India without Tamim and Shakib, he said, “Actually you need to wait for a cue on the field. It could be a great spell or maybe a great innings. Like a good partnership like one that Mushfiqur and Mithun shared against Pakistan. Or else I don’t think you have easy options of beating India.”

He said Bangladesh cricket needs a tournament triumph.

“I don’t judge myself on the basis of one trophy. I have not played cricket for one trophy. I can say that a trophy is very important for Bangladesh. Insha Allah one day Bangladesh will win a trophy. The youngsters will get a boost if Bangladesh win.”

Meanwhile the Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina congratulated the team for making the final.

“The Premier called up, we spoke to her from the dressing room, she is obviously very happy and motivated us to try our best in the final. If that happens, fine, but she asked us to give our best,” signed off Mashrafe.

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