Bangladesh lost the psychological war against India in the Asia Cup 2018 Final
There seemed to be a difference between winning the toss-electing to bat first and losing the toss-asked to bat first in Bangladesh’s batting. In this Asia Cup 2018, most matches in which Bangladesh elected to bat first after winning the toss, they could score more than 235 runs and won the matches. But while playing against India in both the Super Four match and the Final, they lost the toss and were asked to bat first. This is where they started to lose the match psychologically. They seemed to lose their belief in their bowling attack after losing the toss and asked to bat first by India which affected their batting.
Deciding to bowl first after winning the toss, India gave a clear message to Bangladesh that whatever total they would make, India would chase it down comfortably and this was why Bangladesh felt the psychological pressure to post a big total on the board for India to chase. Bangladesh seemed to be batting for a score of 280-300+ runs against India in the Asia cup 2018 Final whereas a score of 240+ was thought to be enough by cricket experts. Cricket commentators said that a score of 260 would have been very competitive in that pitch. But Bangladesh took the psychological pressure to themselves losing belief in their bowling attack and tried to score 300 runs which made them play too many shots resulting in quick fall of wickets at a regular interval. They were 120 for no loss of wickets when Mehidy Hasan Miraz tried to go over the extra cover fielder looking to hit a boundary but he was caught inside the circle on the offside. He just couldn’t clear the infield. He was batting quite well until he got out scoring 32 runs. He has never opened the innings for Bangladesh before until this match. But he should have tried to continue to give support for some more time to the other opening batsmen Liton Das. That shot by Mehidy Hasan Miraz was not needed as Bangladesh were cruising along at that stage.
Liton Das played very well until he was dropped at 52 by Chahal. He ended up scoring a brilliant century. He scored 121 before getting stumped by M S Dhoni in Kuldeep Yadav’s over. He was very unlucky that his team lost the match despite his maiden ODI century. This makes us remember the Indian master blaster Sachin Tendulker. We had seen Sachin scoring brilliant centuries in a number of matches which were lost by his team India. There was even a similar incident in a match that India played and lost against Bangladesh in which Sachin Tendulkar scored a good-looking century.
Both Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah tried to play their release shot as a result of a few dot deliveries and got out caught in the deep. This was very unnecessary from both of them but seemed to be a result of feeling the psychological pressure of putting up a big score on the board. Even the Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza got out trying to hit another six in the very same over bowled by Kuldeep Yadav. He tried to come down the wicket and was stumped by Dhoni. It was a very good delivery from Kuldeep Yadav, a googly which Mashrafe failed to connect with his bat. But after hitting Kuldeep Yadav for a six, Mashrafe tried to hit him for another six in the same over which was not what the doctor ordered at that stage.
Most of the other batsmen like Imrul, Soumya and Mithun have failed to show consistency as usual. Bangladesh have badly missed the services of Tamim and Shakib due to their injury. Another key factor was Mehidy Hasan’s bowling didn’t click in the final match of the Asia cup 2018. But one felt that Masrafe should have tried to bowl with Soumya Sarkar in the middle of the innings for a couple of overs just to check if he clicked instead of thinking to bring him to bowl the last over. Overall 222 was not competitive enough but still Bangladesh gave a very good fight indeed. We have seen a very exciting match, a close encounter, in which India won at the last ball.