Calcutta: India defeated Afghanistan by eight wickets, with a bonus point to boot, but in the end it really didn’t count for much. For the five time champions, the race in the ongoing Asia Cup was already over on Tuesday in Mirpur, when Pakistan defeated Bangladesh to effectively throw India out of contention.
With the victory in Mirpur on Wednesday that can at best be termed as a consolation one, the stand-in skipper Virat Kohli, however, said it was a complete performance from India.
The Afghanistan captain Mohammed Nabi is thrilled with the “fantastic tournament” the war-torn nation has had, with a win over hosts Bangladesh.
Virat Kohli: It was a complete performance from the team today (Wednesday). It’s very hard to motivate yourselves in this sort of a game, when you have been travelling for a while and you haven’t qualified for the final. We were hoping for a Bangladesh victory yesterday (Tuesday), but it didn’t happen and we were knocked out of the tournament. So then, it becomes difficult for the players to motivate themselves… But I think they performed brilliantly today.
Being more relaxed always works for us… We were quite tense in the earlier games. Today, everyone was relaxed… The mood was that we just play one more game and then we go back home. That sort of energy works for us and the guys executed the plans well.
We started off quite well… I was pretty confident that we will make the final. But then, things just didn’t go our way. We lost close games… We committed crucial mistakes against Pakistan and Sri Lanka… We didn’t have an experienced bowling attack also. It was pleasing to see Amit Mishra coming in and bowling well against Pakistan. But if we had avoided those basic errors, things would have fallen in place.
Mohammed Nabi: It was a fantastic tournament for us… We have proved that we have it in us to play good cricket. We have learnt a lot from the tournament and we will try to work on the gains.
Ravindra Jadeja (MoM): The wicket was pretty slow… My plan was to extract as much turn as I could from the wicket. And I just tried to stick to the basics and everything worked in my favour. Before the game started, Duncan (Fletcher) told us that this also counts as an ODI… So you guys need to be serious… We were absolutely focussed on the game.