Treat it as just another game: Shastri

Treat it as just another game: Shastri

Treat it as just another game: Shastri

Mirpur is pervaded with celebratory excitement and it is unlikely that the Asia Cup T20 final would be approached without hostility from the overzealous home fans.

Indian team director Ravi Shastri, however, was unperturbed. He said his side has taken every match as a knockout game and that Sunday’s final will be treated as just another contest by them.

“We are experienced players. You just treat it as another game. Why treat it as a final. For us every game is a knockout, we've approached it in that fashion. And we'll approach tomorrow's game in no different manner,” Shastri told reporters on Saturday.

“We're used to noise. Let there be 100%. Who cares? When you play at that level, you are immune to that. You can use to your advantage as well. You can be more geared up and show that you can play.”

The team has been playing fearless cricket, to which Shastri conceded. Asked how the transformation came about, he said:  “I will have to sit here for ten hours if I have to tell you all that. Since then we are the No 1 team in T20 cricket. It has been a gradual process but an enjoyable one. Let's hope we can show that kind of cricket in the final too tomorrow.”

India were troubled by Bangladesh in the opening game before cruising to victory.  Shastri admitted it was a tough game. “If you look at it Bang­la­desh was a very good win to start off the tournament. We were under pressure and in the last ten overs we bounced back. But every game is a tough game. It's how you balance things out in batting and bowling department at the end of the day,” he said.

Shastri said his team was ready play in any condition and on any surface. “Pitches are not in our hands. Whatever track is on offer, we are ready to play. Our job is to go play in whatever conditions we are offered. Because you realise very quickly that it is not one team playing there, both teams have to play on that surface. So it is fair play,” he said.

Social media is abuzz with the picture of MS Dhoni’s head in the hands of Bangladesh fast bowler Taskin Ahmed. Shastri, however, refused to make much of it. “I don't read all these newspapers. We will go play cricket. I don't have the habit of reading during matches. You read, you make your own assessments on that. Our job is to get out there and play cricket,” he said.

With Pakistan team reaching a new low, many view the newly formed rivalry between India and Bangladesh as the next biggest battle in the sub-continent. Shastri, however, said: “I think all teams are very good in the subcontinent. You have your ups and your downs. Last year, Sri Lanka were the world champions here. Bangladesh has played very good cricket too. Not long ago Pakistan was in the top two. Now it’s India. You can never discount teams in the subcontinent.”

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