Team India opener Shikhar Dhawan on Thursday said Bangladesh will pose a stiff challenge to defending champs India even though the men in blue defeated them comfortably in Super Four stages. “Pakistan may be a bigger team on paper but Bangladesh played better cricket than them and are in the final again. They are always tough to beat, especially at home. They are showing by performances they have gotten so much better. They know how to play under pressure,” the left-hander said on the eve of the Asia Cup final against Bangladesh.
“They play fearlessly against big teams and you have to appreciate that. Having said that, it takes time (to win major events). For them reaching the final is a also a big thing. Hopefully, we will win tomorrow but you will see them crossing the barrier in some other tournament.”
Dhawan also spoke about his dismal show in England and added that there was “no shame” in accepting his disastrous run of form in the longer format on the English soil. Dhawan, whose place in the Test team is under threat for the home series against the West Indies, seemed unfazed about a possible axe.
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The batsman, who has made a Test comeback in the past on the basis of his stellar showing in white-ball cricket, is back amongst the runs in the ongoing Asia Cup.
“I think it always helps when you perform well (irrespective of the form). Agar fayda hona hoga to ho jayega, nahi hona hoga to nai hoga (we will see if my current form helps me in Tests). Whenever I play, red ball or white ball, I utilise whatever knowledge I have of the game,” Dhawan added.
“If you talk about the England Test, I did not do well but I gave it all. Others played better than me. I accept it. There is no shame in it. Then I came here to play white ball cricket, had different plans because of different conditions. Sometimes they (plans) work sometimes they don’t,” the stylish left-hander said in his defence.
Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have provided India solid starts and that is one of the reasons why the side is unbeaten in the tournament.
When asked whether there was extra pressure on the two senior batsmen in the absence of skipper Virat Kohli, the southpaw said: “It was not like that we felt that we had more responsibility in Virat’s absence. It was a tournament where the management could give opportunity to the upcoming players, find out who all are equipped to bat in the middle order.
“That is why we took rest also (against Afghanistan) so that guys who have not spent time in the middle get to do that. Virat around or not, Rohit and I approach every match the same way, with the same effort. There is obviously a lot of difference between England weather and the weather here but we train well to deal with that.”
On India-Bangladesh rivalry getting bigger with time, especially after the 2015 series when the latter won at home, Dhawan added: “Well, there was rivalry before that also. There will always be the rivalry on the field. Off the field, we are friends but on it we have to do our job.
(With PTI Inputs)