India managed to defend its Asia Cup champions title by defeating Bangladesh for a second time in a row on Friday night in Dubai. Bangladesh had made 222 on the back of a brilliant maiden hundred from Liton Das, but three wickets from Kuldeep Yadav, two from Kedar Jadhav, and three run outs had perhaps made them slight favourites, especially considering their batting firepower.
In reply, India made a rough weather of the chase at 160 and it was a severely hamstrung Jadhav (23 not out), who ran the most defining single of his short international career on the last ball of the match and helped the Men in Blue successfully defend their title.
Apart from Jadhav, Buvneshwar Kumar (21) and Ravindra Jadeja (23) also played their part after middle-order led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni once again failed to perform.
Congratulations pour for Team India after their seventh Asia Cup win. However, people also raised doubts about the wobbly middle-order.
Head coach Ravi Shastri also was pleased with the effort and said, “I liked the intensity with which we played, we were a bit flat against Hong Kong in the first match, but pulled up afterwards.” “The biggest plus was the fielding, game after game, we saved around 30-35 runs in these oppressive conditions. We took wickets consistently and during the middle-overs, the bowlers were outstanding, we bowled well with the new ball in tough conditions and then the spinners came to the party. Rohit was a calming influence and it showed on his captaincy. To keep his intensity going even after the start they had, showed he was really cool in every aspect of captaincy, the bowling changes he made were really good, to concede just around 100 runs in the last 30 overs, I thought it was brilliant,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma heaped praise on the teammates, saying the Asia Cup triumph was the reward for the hardwork put in by the team throughout the tournament. We played some good cricket throughout the tournament and this is the reward of all the hardwork throughout the tournament. I have been part of games like this before and credit to the guys in the middle to handle the pressure and to cross the finishing line was a fantastic effort. 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,” said Rohit while speaking in the post-match presentation ceremony.