Mirpur: After lifting the Asia Cup trophy without losing a single match in the tournament, India’s limited-over’s skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has described the victory as ‘special’ and admitted that it will boost his side’s confidence ahead of the upcoming World T20.
Earlier, opener Shikhar Dhawan produced a scintillating 60-run knock to guide India to their sixth Asia Cup title win defeating Bangladesh by eights wicket in the final played at the Shere-E-Bangla Stadium.
“It’s a special win for us. Special because of circumstances, before getting into the World Cup. If you see the kind of performances that the team has given, they will carry a lot of confidence into the World Cup. They know what has been really going well for them, what their strengths are. And also ten games in a row, T20 and then T20 World Cup. It gives us some time to get into the group. I always said from T20 format you can go into the Test format. But one of the most difficult things to do so is to get from the Test format into T20 format,” Dhoni told the media following the win.
Reflecting on Dhawan’s performance, the 34-year-old admitted that he played a well-placed innings, pointing out that it was the best batting wicket in the entire tournament.
The wicketkeeper-batsman also lavished praise on his bowlers for restricting the opponents in posting a huge target. He also admitted that spinners played extremely well during India’s victory and was hopeful that they have a major role to play in the upcoming T20 pinnacle event.
“I think the bowlers did the great job by restricting them to 120 runs and we had the firepower to get those numbers of runs. If you see a lot of team have played with four fast bowler. We have been one team who stuck with three fast bowlers and two spinners. And I think they have done really well for us. They have picked up wickets for us. And at the same time more often they have restricted the opponents. I think spinners are always special irrespective of the format,” he added.
Dhoni, however, admitted that the current Bangladesh squad were much more stronger at the moment and that they had produced a great fight back on the field.
“Things have changed, it’s not like a 2004 Bangladesh team. They are a fantastic squad right now. They are a very good team. They have improved a lot. And that was they are showing in their performance on the field. I feel it was again an important win for us,”Dhoni said.
Describing India as a `balanced ` team , the right-handed batsman insisted that the selectors would face difficulty in deciding the slot for Mohammed Shami.
Shami, who was ruled out of the Asia Cup due to hamstring injury, has been recovering and would play in the World T20 only if he manages to prove his fitness in the warm-up games.
“Well it looks very balanced right now. Whether Shami will be replaced it’s a different question altogether. We will see he still has a bit of time. The only reason he was picked because the kind of potential he has. Somebody, who can deliver with the new ball and the old ball at the death. Yorker has been his strength,” Dhoni insisted.
The skipper admitted that it seemed to be difficult to replace Jasprit Bumrah, adding that the only slot left in which Shami could fit was that of Ashish Nehra.
“I think it’s very difficult to replace Bumrah. He has the strength of bowling yorkers at will and with the new ball also he has contributed. The other bowler as if now is Ashish Nehra which I think has contributed in few games, up and down it happens in T20. Hardik Pandya is again seaming all-rounder for us. Jadeja or he can bat at No. 8 and they can give me three or four overs, then it looks like a better balanced side. For Shami to replace, it would be Ashish (Nehra). Ashish’s is the only slot but to replace Ashish would be very tough. The reason being he’s done very well for us, he’s moved the ball around,” he added.
The ICC World T20 is scheduled to be held from March 8 in India and the hosts will play their opening match against new Zealand on March 15. (ANI)