Sports: Asia Cup final just another game for India, says Shastri

(From PTI)

The excitement of being in the Asia Cup final might be palpable in the Bangladesh camp but for India, Sunday’s final would be just another game in the tournament, says team director Ravi Shastri.

Ravi Shastri

Ravi Shastri

“They (Indian players) are experienced players and they should treat this as another gamer. Our approach to every team and every game has been the same,” Shastri said.

“Right from the start, we have approached every game as a knock-out game. The final will be no different for us,” he added.

Having won a tough game against Bangladesh in the tournament’s first match may help the Indian side in the final.

“That was a good game … we were under pressure till the last 10 overs, when we bounced back. Every game is a tough game. It’s about how you balance things out in batting and bowling. We did an excellent job in that game,” he said.

Asked if India’s dominance against Pakistan in recent times means that the big contest in Asia will now be India versus Bangladesh contest, Shastri said: “I think all teams are very good in the sub-continent. You have your ups and downs. In 2014, Sri Lanka became the World T20 champions. Bangladesh have played very good cricket too.

“Not long ago, Pakistan were in the top two. Now it’s India. You can never discount teams in the subcontinent,” he said.

Shastri played down the pitch factor.

“Pitches are not in our hands. I was asked before the start of the tournament whether we are going to get a green top …. whatever track is on offer tomorrow, we are ready to play,” he said.

“Our job is to go play in whatever conditions we are offered. Because you realize very quickly that it is not one team playing there, both teams have to play on that surface. So it is fair play.”

Shastri was also unfazed by the fact that a vociferous and partisan crowd will try to unsettle the Indians at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in Mirpur.

“We’re used to noise. Let there be 100 per cent noise. Who cares? When you play at that level, you are immune to that. You can use to your advantage as well. You can show that you can play.”

On how the Indian team has transformed since he took charge in England, Shastri said he would save that answer for a longer interaction with the media.

“We are the No 1 team in T20 cricket. It has been a gradual process but an enjoyable one. Let’s hope we can show that kind of cricket in the final too tomorrow.”

He also refused to name any particular player who has done exceptionally well in his opinion.

“I don’t like to single out any player. When the team is doing well, let’s talk about the Indian cricket team. That’s more important. This is not a game of individuals. This is a game of a team that goes out to play,” he said.



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