Veteran India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has lauded Indian cricket team for clinching the 14th edition of Asia Cup in UAE. India defeated Bangladesh by three wickets to secure the title at the Dubai International Stadium on Friday.
Chasing 223 for win, India's in-form middle-order suffered a rare failure. The Men in Blue were reeling at 160/5 before the pair of Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar bailed the team out of trouble with a 44-run partnership. Needing 6 runs in the final over, Kedar Jadhav and Kuldeep Yadav took the game to the last ball by taking singles and doubles. The limping Jadhav ran off a leg-bye in the final delivery to help the team win the tournament for a record seventh time.
"It's a very, very good victory. The Indian team showed why they are the best. We must not forget that, they played in this tournament without Virat Kohli. Rohit Sharma led the team from the front, Shikhar Dhawan was brilliant...it was an amazing tournament for India and they showed if you believe then anything can be achieved. Very well done to Rohit Sharma and Team India for winning the Asia Cup, a well deserved win and it's a great moment [for the Indian cricket team]," Harbhajan told India Today.
He also hailed Team India for stepping up after a poor England tour where they lost the ODI and Test series.
"They have been playing some good cricket. It's not easy to come back from England after those defeats and win a tournament. Winning the Asia Cup means a lot to the team and I am sure they will continue to play good cricket and make all of us proud," Harbhajan added.
Earlier, the disciplined bowling effort along with some exceptional fielding helped India restrict Bangladesh to 222 all-out in 48.3 overs in the all-important final.
After being put into bat, opener Liton Das' brilliant century (121 off 117 balls) was the only bright spot for Bangladesh as they suffered a collapse after a blazing start. Das and Mehidy Hasan shared a 120-run opening stand but soon after the latter’s dismissal, Bangladesh’s middle-order crumbled.
Imrul Kayes (2), Mushfiqur Rahim (5), Mohammad Mithun (2) and Mahmudullah (4) got out in quick succession as Bangladesh slumped from 128/1 to 151/5. Two run-outs in the latter stage of the innings jolted Bangladesh's hopes of a high score even further. Kuldeep Yadav was the stand-out bowler for India, claiming three wickets. Kedar Jadhav picked up two wickets while Yuzvendra Chahal and Jasprit Bumrah chipped in with wicket apiece.
Team India will now host West Indies in two Tests, five ODIs and three T20Is from October 4.