Asia Cup was truly memorable for the Bangla Tigers: Gavaskar

To be able to beat all the Asian Test countries in one tournament and with it win the Asia Cup would have been truly memorable for the Bangla Tigers writes Sunil Gavaskar in his column in The Times Of India, adding that, Bangladesh were on a roll and the manner in which they restricted Pakistan till the final over was an indication of their desire, intensity, focus and more crucially, self-belief.

“Mushfiqur led the team exceptionally well and but for the fact that Nazmul injured his shoulder and couldn’t bowl, he would not have had to go to Shahadat who can be expensive as he strives for pace and does not have the variety. Shahadat conceded 19 runs in the final over of the Pakistan innings. While that by itself was not the reason why Bangladesh lost, as inexperience played a big role too, it certainly lifted the spirits in Pakistan’s dressing room,” writes Gavaskar.

Meanwhile Wasim Akram though praises Bangladesh for their stupendous effort in the tournament, writes in TOI that credit should go to Misbah-ul-Haq and his bowlers for Pakistan’s victory in the Asia Cup. “Misbah is a very good captain and a complete team man. Despite facing so many problems in Pakistan cricket in the last couple of years, he has led from the front. However, Pakistan’s middle order is inexperienced and that is a worry.  Umar was struggling on a slow wicket. Sarfaraz Ahmed is a good addition to the One-day set-up. He should be given more chances as he can be an asset,” writes Akram.

According to a report in Indian Express, still disappointed at missing a final against archrival India, Pakistan fans had nothing but praise for Bangladesh's performance in a thrilling Asia Cup cricket final. While most still wished the victory came against India, they were filled with admiration for the Bangladesh team that came agonizingly close to winning the title.

“I was praying for an India-Pakistan rematch, but Bangladesh played like a real contender for the title,” said Juzer Mustafa, a university student.

In one of its report, TOI writes that the Asia Cup was a gripping story of the underdog with the end going haywire. “Bangladesh’s victory could have lent a fairytale tinge to it, but even in their loss, the Tigers proved they are ready to take on the best on the world stage. Bangladesh’s performance over the 12 days of the tournament had shades of Sri Lanka of the early 1990s –the same grit, the same spirit, fuelled by a couple of extraordinary performances. Now, this team needs to do it consistently to make it count in the days to come.”

The Aussie coach Stuart Law, skipper Mushfiqur Rahim and some other Bangladeshi players felt the Bangladesh Premier League has had a lot to do with the success of the team. “In the BPL, these guys are getting used to tight matches day-in-day-out in front of big crowds. That has brought about a change in attitude of the players,” Law said.