The final match of Asia Cup Cricket Tournament will be played between India and Bangladesh in Dubai today.
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza called on his players to ignore the absence of veteran stars Tamim Iqbal and Shakib al Hasan when they face defending champions India in Asia Cup final.
Bangladesh upset Pakistan by 37 runs in the last Super Four match in Abu Dhabi to book a place in the final for just the second time. Without their established opener Tamim injured after the first game and world-class all-rounder Shakib, the Tigers will pin their hopes on younger players to shock the six-time champions. "It will be tough without Tamim and Shakib," admitted Mortaza on Thursday. "The good thing is that the boys have fought very hard so I hope they fight till the last ball and give us a win which will inspire the whole nation."
With their powerful batting line up, led by skipper Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, India start as favourites. They thrashed arch-rivals Pakistan in two matches to get closer to another title. Sharma has notched a hundred and two half-centuries while Dhawan has two hundred in the tournament, a factor Mashrafe feels makes them favourites. "India is the far better team (than us)," said Mashrafe. "They are coming here as the favourites so we have to be mentally strong and fight till the last ball."
Bangladesh has beaten India in only five of 34 ODIs but one of them came in the 2012 Asia Cup on their way to the final when they lost to Pakistan by two runs. India beat Bangladesh in the first Super Four game by seven wickets in Dubai in the current edition.