Asia Cup 2018: Mighty India set to lock horns with gritty Bangladesh
It will be the might of the Indian side as against the grit and spirit to of the Bangladeshis that would be on show in the final of the Asia Cup on Friday.
For Bangladesh, it has been a story of grit so far. Right from the first match, it was on display when Tamim Iqbal came out to bat with an injury. That, as a matter of fact set the tone of the entire tournament for them. Their last match against Pakistan in the Super Four stage wasn’t short of inspirational. Batting first, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mohammad Mithun showed the way with a gritty 144-run stand. Although they could muster only 239 at the end, that the bowlers drew enough inspiration to put up a brilliant effort in the second innings.
With the ball, they were equally brilliant as they thwarted the run chase and struck at regular intervals, never really letting the batsmen seize control. Mustafizur Rahman was the star bowler with four wickets as Pakistan crumbled to just 202.
But India’s has had a very different tournament so far. Without their regular skipper Virat Kohli, many had thought them to not have that edge over their Asian rivals. But Rohit Sharma and co have proved their detractors wrong in style. The stand-in captain himself and his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan has been in solid touch and has been one of the reasons why the team has tasted success so far.
It was only their last match where a second string Indian side was completely taken aback by another spirited force in Afghanistan and although the math ended in a draw, it was a loss for the defending champions who at one point, needed a run to win from two deliveries but failed to get there.
With contrasting performances on their last matches, both the Asian team meet in the summit showdown in Dubai, in an exact repeat of the 2016 final of the tournament.
Bangladesh would thus do their best to erase those memories of Dhoni whacking those big ones to take India to the title while Rohit and his team would like to proved a point or two that without their best batsmen before the World Cup gets underway.