We will fight until the last ball against India, says Bangla captain Mashrafe
Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza at a press conference on Thursday
Dubai - Mortaza, though, refused to get carried away by the team's stunning 37-run win over Pakistan on Wednesday night
By Rituraj Borkakoty
Published: Thu 27 Sep 2018, 10:12 PM
Last updated: Fri 28 Sep 2018, 12:18 AM
After having suffered heartbreaks in two Asia Cup finals in the past, Bangladesh will be fighting until the last ball to win their first major trophy when they take on India in Friday's final in Dubai.
Despite losing Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan to injury, Bangladesh kept fighting back in the tournament to set up a dream final with India.
"It's a great lesson for the boys. I hope that young players will learn and understand that it's all about fighting for your team until the last ball," Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza said at the press conference on Thursday.
"I hope that they will learn from this tournament. It was difficult, especially after losing top performers like Tamim and Shakib. But the good thing is that the boys didn't give up even though we lost against Afghanistan (in the group stage) and India (in Super Four).
"We kept fighting. So the team has done really well. Now we have one match to go and we will fight again until the last ball."
Mortaza, though, refused to get carried away by the team's stunning 37-run win over Pakistan on Wednesday night.
The Bangladesh captain knows Rohit Sharma's India are a formidable team in white-ball cricket.
"I think India is a far better team, they are number one in the world, they came here as the favourites," Mortaza admitted.
"But you never know, anything can happen. So, we will have to be mentally strong and fight until the last ball. It's important to keep our emotion in check."
Mortaza then revealed what could a good target to defend against the strong Indian batting line-up in Friday's final at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
"It is very difficult to set them a target. Considering India's batting strength, at least 260-270 could be a fighting total, I am not saying that's a winning score," the fast bowler said.
"And if we bowl first then we would look to try and restrict them. Batting or bowling, a good start is crucial."
Mortaza knows his men will become a part of Bangladesh folklore with a victory over the star-studded Indian team on Friday, "I don't judge myself on the basis of one trophy. I have not played cricket for one trophy," he said.
"I can say that a trophy is very important for Bangladesh. One day Bangladesh will win a trophy. The youngsters will get a boost if Bangladesh win."
"And let me be honest, the moment Tamim entered the field with an injury as the last man to help Mushfiqur (Rahim) score those runs in our first game against Sri Lanka, my Asia Cup was won," he said.