Shikhar Dhawan has warned his India teammates not to take Bangladesh lightly as they prepare to face off in the 2018 Asia Cup Final on Friday.
Bangladesh beat Pakistan by 37 runs in the last encounter of the Super Four phase but India remain favourites to lift the cup, and the 32-year-old knows that reputations count for very little once you step onto the pitch, an ICC report said.
“We cannot take them lightly because Pakistan is a bigger name but Bangladesh got the better of them,” said the opener in a press conference on the eve of the match on Thursday.
“There is a big difference between a team on paper and players playing on the ground. So, the team which plays better on the field, they are regarded as the bigger team,” he said.
Dhawan has noted Bangladesh’s improvement in recent years and knows they are no longer afraid of the ‘big teams’. “You can see that they have a good support staff and they play good consistent cricket,” he added.
“They have got many experienced players in the side who know their role and play according to the strategy. Their players know how to play under pressure and they no longer have problems playing against the big teams,” Dhawan said.
“Bangladesh have been playing cricket only for 18 years and it takes time (to win finals). Sometimes it takes teams so much time to even reach the final. Although I would want India to win the match tomorrow, I believe we will see Bangladesh crossing the line soon, as far as winning titles is concerned,” he added.