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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Asia Cup Cricket: Pakistan-Bangladesh Final Tomorrow!


Even the historic feat of Sachin Tendulkar failed to inspire the Indian cricket team. Instead of celebrating the glorious moment with a win Team India gave away the match to Bangladesh after posting an imposing total of 289. Aiming for the perfect yorkers Indian bowlers were only raining full tosses which helped Bangladesh tremendously in the death overs. This loss became India's costliest mistake finally leading to the team’s ouster from Asia Cup-2012. In fact losing to Bangladesh, still termed as ‘minnows’, has a legacy. In World Cup Cricket-2007 India lost to them in a group match which led eventually to India’s elimination from the Super Eight stage.

Virat Kohli’s heroics add to the ironies. He played like someone possessed on two occasions. First in the CB Series played recently in Australia when faced with a do or die situation Team India had to win against Sri Lanka with a bonus point which they did thanks to Virat Kohli, Gambhir and Raina. Same situation arose in Asia Cup when Team India had to win against Pakistan to stay alive in the competition which they did thanks to Virat Kohli, Tendulkar, Sharma and Raina. On the first occasion India hoped Australia would beat Sri Lanka and on the second India hoped Sri Lanka would beat Bangladesh. In both cased the desired did not happen and India got ousted. Such ironies happen when a team is not playing with consistency and dedication.

Bangladesh is going to figure in an Asia Cup Final for the first time ever or so to say in any kind of major tournament finals. Normally they are prone to causing upsets in the preliminary stage and then surrendering meekly in the higher stage—like in World Cup Cricket-2007 they lost all their Super matches by convincing margins. But in this Asia Cup-2012 Bangladesh has been the most consistent and resurgent team beating giants India and Sri Lanka and nearly beating Pakistan. Tomorrow they must capitalize on this huge opportunity at home environs and try to shake off the ‘minnows’ tag forever.

Pakistan would also like to capitalize on India’s absence and play freely and positively to win the Asia Cup which they have won only once so far. And, this is the first time Sri Lanka will not be featuring in the Asia Cup finals and also the first time they have lost all their league games.

While defending Asia Cup Champions Team India must try to learn from their mistakes we should hope for a good contest tomorrow though Indian cricket fans will sorely miss the most sought after India-Pakistan final.


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