“I would look at the positives heading into the final” - Sunil Gavaskar downplays India’s Asia Cup loss to Bangladesh 

Sri Lanka Asia Cup Cricket
Bangladesh celebrate their six-run win over India in the Asia Cup. (Pic: AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

Sunil Gavaskar downplayed Team India’s loss to Bangladesh in the Asia Cup 2023 Super 4 match at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Friday. Gavaskar explained that India did not play their full-strength team and hence it would be better to reflect on the positives than worry about the loss.

Having already qualified for the Asia Cup 2023 final, the Men in Blue made as many as five changes to their playing XI for the match against Bangladesh. Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya were among the senior players who were given a rest.

India bowled first after losing the toss and held Bangladesh to 265/8. Their batters, however, failed to chase down the total and were bowled out for 259 in 49.5 overs despite a superb hundred from Shubman Gill (121 off 133).

Speaking to Sports Tak, Gavaskar did not read too much into India’s six-run loss.

“I would not look too much into the defeat. I would look at the positives. Shubman Gill batted very well as did Axar Patel, while Mohammed Shami bowled well. I would look at the positives heading into the final,” he stated.

Reflecting on India’s defeat, Gavaskar opined that when too many players who have been sitting out come into a match, it can affect the rhythm of the team.

“We need to remember that this is not our regular team. India made five changes to their team, so they did not have the rhythm - whether we are talking about Suryakumar Yadav, Prasidh Krishna, Shardul Thakur was dropped for one match. Because the rhythm is not there, things become difficult when you have to play a match,” he explained.

Apart from Gill, Shami impressed with 2/33, while Axar contributed 42 off 34 lower down the order. However, most of the others had a disappointing outing.

“There were many soft dismissals” - Madan Lal on India’s loss to Bangladesh

Unlike Gavaskar, former all-rounder Madan Lal was a lot more scathing in his criticism of the India team.

He hit out at the batters for playing loose strokes and also expressed disappointed at the bowlers for allowing Bangladesh to recover from 59/4 to post 265.

“If you look at India’s batting, there were many soft dismissals. Such shots should not have been played. KL Rahul’s confidence level should have been high after the hundred against a big team like Pakistan. You should also know how to win games. Ishan Kishan’s dismissal was also a soft one," Lal said.
“India had got four Bangladesh batters out for 59 runs, but then allowed them to score 265 on this wicket,” the 1983 World Cup winner concluded.

India will now face Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup 2023 final in Colombo on Sunday.

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