Team director Ravi Shastri made it clear before the Asia Cup started that he wanted India to start strong and not follow a pattern of losing the first couple of matches and then coming from behind to win.
India responded to that challenge by putting up a strong performance that helped them defeat Bangladesh and get their first points on the table. Captain MS Dhoni who was battling back spasms passed his fitness test and was happy with the way his team played. Bangladesh asked India to bat on a track that was offering a lot of assistance to the quicker bowlers and they immediately struck with three quick wickets to leave them at 3-42.
India recovered rather well thanks to some shoddy fielding by Bangladesh and also through a great partnership with Rohit Sharma and H Pandya. Both batsman found the rope at will with Pandya playing a hard hitting cameo scoring 31 of just 18 balls while Sharma continued his consistent run of form by anchoring the innings and scoring 83 from 55 balls. Dhoni helped finished the innings with a massive six of the last ball to help India reach a respectable 166.
Bangladesh found it hard to handle the pace and swing of the two Indian seamers and both of them struck early before the spinners tied down Bangladesh and caused the run rate to go up with every over. Bangladesh continued to lose wickets at regular intervals and after the 10th over the game more or less slipped away. In the end Bangladesh could just manage to score 121 in their 20 over for the loss of 7 wickets.
Their performance was disappointing for the fans as the Bangladeshis are playing at home and were expected to put up a much better fight. While they have improved in leaps and bounds in the ODI format, they are ranked at the bottom of the table in T20s. The team will be hoping to improve their fielding in the next match and also increase the tempo at the top of the order.
Rohit Sharma was awarded the man of the match for his batting display. In a statement, Sharma said “It’s important for me to start afresh and not look back too much. This is a perfect platform for us before the World Cup. It was unusual to see this kind of wicket in this part of the world. It was always important for one batter to bat as long as possible and I told myself I had to do that. I was focusing on my basics on this kind of the pitch, use the pace of the bowlers. It was a good wicket and the ball was carrying.”