India have been far and away the best team in the ongoing Asia Cup. There may have been a lot of disgruntled noises from other teams -- including Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza -- hinting at the preferential schedule the world's number one ODI side have been handed, but there is an argument to be made that even the worst of schedules would not have altered the results much.
Bangladesh will go into today's Asia Cup final against India with some jarring memories from their previous appearances. The Tigers have come leaps and bounds from that gut-wrenching loss to Pakistan in 2012 and were never really expected to win in 2016, a T20 affair.
Soumya Sarkar was batting in the ICC Academy nets the day before yesterday's match. He was facing up to some local net bowlers.
The heat is a dominant topic here in the UAE, and while it is true that the mercury is the same for all four remaining teams in the ongoing Asia Cup, Bangladesh would be justified in saying that they are the most disadvantaged.
What could be the beginning of a turnaround for Bangladesh in the ongoing Asia Cup may seem on the surface to have been caused by the inspired inclusion of Imrul Kayes in the team for Sunday's match against Afghanistan a mere 17 hours after he was flown into the United Arab Emirates as emergency reinforcement.
Imrul Kayes had just 48 hours after completing a four-day game in Khulna for the High Performance squad to pack his bags and board a flight to join the Tigers in the United Arab Emirates for a do or die encounter against Afghanistan in the Asia Cup, where he was expected to handle one of the best spin bowlers in the world in Rashid Khan.
On Monday, there was a media day at the ICC headquarters, not far from where India will play Afghanistan in the Asia Cup today, where bigwigs like ICC CEO Dave Richardson, general manager of the Anti-Corruption Unit Alex Marshall and general manager of cricket Geoff Allardice spoke to the media about the state of cricket in 2018.
What increasingly appears to be favouritism towards cricketing powerhouse India has turned the Asia Cup into a near farce. Even with two group matches left and Group A and Group B champions yet to be decided, on Wednesday morning the Asian Cricket Council has published the fixtures list of the Super Four stage starting on Friday.
Even when Bangladesh seemed to be doing everything right, circumstances have conspired against them. They take on Afghanistan today in their last Asia Cup Group B match in Abu Dhabi AT 5:30pm Bangladesh time, having already qualified for the next stage.