India captain Virat Kohli (C) led his side from the front as did Mushfiqur Rahim for Bangladesh in their Asia Cup opener at Fatullah yesterday. However, Kohli's 136 overshadowed Mushfiqur's 117 as India cruised to a six-wicket win. Photo: Firoz Ahmed
That both Virat Kohli and Mushfiqur Rahim were going to play crucial roles in their sides' opening encounter of the Asia Cup was expected from their respective performances in recent past. Coming into this match, Kohli had an average of 122 against the Tigers while Mushfiqur seemed to be the only consistent batsman for the hosts.
At the end of the day it was Kohli's 136 that triumphed over Mushfiqur's 117 -- his highest score in ODIs. And the one major aspect, as put by Bangladesh left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak, which led to the result was the dew factor. Bangladesh spinners were frequently seen trying to keep the ball dry with their towels towards the latter half of the Indian innings in an attempt to grip the ball better.
"There was plenty of dew in the evening. I personally think that it did play a huge role in the match. It began affecting us from after the half-way mark," said Razzak in the post-match press conference.
In a way the dew on the ground caught the hosts a bit unaware. Right before the match on Tuesday, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza had told the media that the team did not expect dew to be much of a factor since it didn't affect the previous match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The slow left-armer however, took nothing away from Kohli's brilliant knock and described it as a special innings.
"I don't think a lot went wrong with our game today. Our bowlers bowled well. But one can't do much when someone plays such a special innings," he said.
"There were times when we tried to apply pressure by putting an extra fielder inside the circle, but he [Kohli] got the singles despite that. Both the batsmen played very well for their runs," he added.
Razzak further informed that Mushfiqur, who hurt his right shoulder while attempting to save a boundary, would undergo an MRI scan today. The Bangladesh skipper did have an X-ray yesterday, but that did not reveal anything serious.
Contrary to Razzak's opinion, India's half-centurion Ajinkya Rahane felt that the dew factor could not have hindered the hosts' bowling much.
When asked if the dew factor turned out to be an advantage for the visitors, he said, "I don't think so. I think it only started affecting the bowlers in the last ten to twelve overs."