Bangladesh go into the final against India without their two most important players in Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal – both having to leave the Asia Cup tournament due to injuries. However, the Tigers will be buoyed by the fact that they made the final despite losing Tamim after the very first game and also defeating Pakistan in a virtual semifinal without the world’s best all-rounder Shakib.
Despite having to play the final without two key players and fighting through several other injuries while also battling heat and exaustion, the Tigers' captain spoke of being mentally ready to face the challenge and not worrying about physical recorvery.
Captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza knows how difficult things are without their two key players but spoke positively about their chances, reiterating that the others have gained confidence and experience from performing at the absence of two big names.
“It’s a great opportunity. The final is just a match. If you have a great day anything can happen. The boys are in good shape. But losing Tamim and Shakib is not good for our team. They are the best two performers in our side. Having said that, the boys learnt a lot from the last matches. Once they lost Shakib they knew that Shakib is not going to play, they still fought out there and tried to find a way,” Mashrafe said once the eve of the match.
Senior players like Mushfiqur Rahim, despite carrying an injury, has been in remarkable form in the tournament while Mohammed Mithun, an youngster has contributed with good scores as well in two matches. Mashrafe underlined that problems existed in the top-order but there we also positives. “There is some concern with our batting, but Mushy’s in great form, Mithun is playing well, Riyad also batted well. If our top order can click it will be fine.”
Speaking further on the India match, the Tigers captain expected someone to perform well in the final as it could turn things around for the team.
“The way has to be found on the field. You have to find a clue like a good spell or good innings. There are no easy options other than that. For that you need to be mentally strong and 100 per cent fit mentally. It’s no use thinking of physical recovery, because we played yesterday and have to play final a day later. The need is to be mentally 100 percent. That is what we are trying for. Honestly, a good innings – like Mushfiqur and Mithun’s partnerships. I hope that those can happen earlier. It’s possible [to defeat India] if we can do these things,” he concluded.