After Team India managed to clinch a thrilling three-wicket win over Bangladesh to win the Asia Cup 2018, stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma heaped praise on his boys, saying it was the reward of all the hardwork which the team had put in throughout the tournament.
Earlier on Friday night, a severely hamstrung Kedar Jadhav ran the most defining single of his short international career as India beat Bangladesh to win their seventh Asia Cup title in a pulsating last-ball finish at the full-packed Dubai International Stadium.
Chasing a modest target of 222, India made a rough weather of the chase at 160 for five with Jadhav (23 no) initially retiring after pulling his right hamstring only to come back when it mattered the most. He came in the 48th over with India still needing 11 runs. With six runs needed off the last over, Jadhav and Kuldeep Yadav kept their cool against Mahmudullah Riyadh taking three singles and double off the first five balls.
The part-time off-spinner drifted the final delivery onto Jadhav’s legs as it brushed his pads for a leg bye to ensure India maintained its supremacy among continental neighbours.
“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.
The win also established Rohit’s leadership skills having won the Nidahas T20 tri-nation earlier and now the Asia Cup while providing a healing touch after the Test series drubbing in England.
Crediting his teammates for their efforts, Rohit said, “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. I would like to thank the crowd, who have come out in huge numbers to support us throughout the tournament and I’m sure they’re going back extremely pleased.”
India will now host West Indies for a two-Test series followed by five ODIs and three T20Is beginning October 4.
(With PTI inputs)