India became the champions of the Asia Cup for the sixth time. India defeated Bangladesh in finals of the Asia Cup 2016 played at Mirpur, Dhaka yesterday which was curtailed to a 15 over game due to rains. Asia Cup 2016 provided the right opportunity for the teams to prepare well for the World T20. All the matches in the tournament provided some lessons. Here are the five things we learnt from the Asia Cup 2016.
1. Domination of Indian team
India played excellent cricket in the Asia Cup 2016 tournament. They won five matches in a row. The likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, did perform well in all matches. The Indians had the entire basis covered. In the first three matches MS Dhoni kept the same team, in the final league game against UAE, MS Dhoni gave chances to players sitting on the bench. In the finals, the bowlers did a good job. The fast bowling department especially Nehra, Bumrah have been outstanding. Ashwin and Jadeja also did a pretty decent job. The death bowling of Bumrah in the finals against Bangladesh was outstanding who gave away just 7 runs in the final over. MS Dhoni finished the game for India with a quick fire 20 off 6 balls.
2. Bangladesh cannot be taken lightly
Despite losing the finals to India by 8 wickets, the Bangladesh team played outstanding cricket in the Asia Cup 2016. Bangladesh defeated teams like Sri Lanka and Pakistan with an excellent team effort. The team has excellent fast bowlers including Taskin Ahmed, Al-Amin which can trouble the best batsmen in the world. Their performance in the Asia Cup 2016 has shown that Bangladesh is a force to reckon within the shorter format. The batting unit played aggressive cricket in this tournament. The fielding of Bangladesh team was exceptional in this tournament. They gave a tough competition to the Indian team but could not cross the line on both occasions. Bangladesh is a dangerous side in the shorter format and this team can surprise any big team on its day.
3. Sri Lanka struggled to get their act together
The performance of the Sri Lankan team in Asia Cup 2016 was below average. They only defeated UAE despite scoring a low total. Apart from that, they lost to India, Bangladesh and also against Pakistan. The batting order did not look settled. Chandimal was the only batsmen to score 2 half centuries for Sri Lanka and his partner Dilshan was not up to the mark. The bowling also suffered because of an injury to Malinga. In the bowling front, Dushmantha Chameera was impressive and bowled with pace. Mathews failed to get going as a batsman which led to the downfall of the Sri Lankan team. They were not looking a champion side in this tournament.
4. Inconsistent batting by Pakistan’s key batsmen
Pakistan pace attack is formidable but the batsmen did not put up enough runs on the board to defend or chase the target. The top order failed to give good starts often. Sarfraz Khan and Shoaib Malik were the only batsmen to score some runs. Shahid Afridi also failed to contribute to the team’s success. Pakistan lost to Bangladesh and India which halted their progress to the finals. Pakistan must focus on their batting if they have to achieve success in the World T20.
5. UAE impressive bowling
The most impressive part of the Asia Cup 2016 was the bowling of UAE team. UAE qualified for the main round after winning all three matches in Asia Cup qualifying round. The team restricted the likes of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh batting to a modest total. Amjad Javed, Mohammad Naved, Raza all bowled with a good line and lengths which were tough to hit. The main problem for UAE was their batting which failed to score runs.