Bangladesh v Pakistan, Asia Cup final, Mirpur

Bangladesh have improved a lot - Younis Khan

Siddarth Ravindran in Mirpur

March 21, 2012

Comments: 39 | Text size: A | A

Nasir Hossain jumps in celebration of Bangladesh's win, Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, Asia Cup, Mirpur, March 20, 2012
Younis Khan said Bangladesh are good chasers © AFP
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Since the end of the World Cup, Pakistan are the only one among the four Asian Test nations to have a record to be proud of. India had their disasters in England and Australia, Sri Lanka haven't won a series of note in a year, and Bangladesh faced the ignominy of losing to Zimbabwe. Pakistan, meanwhile, were winning nearly everything they played.

It has been a year in which they have moved away from their traditional fast-bowling dominated attack to one in which spinners are the bigger threats, a year in which pragmatic batting has become more and more common instead of the pyrotechnics of earlier. At the end of a success-filled season, they also get the chance to change their pedestrian record in the Asia Cup, which they have only won once despite decades of trying.

The only team standing in their way is Bangladesh, who have beaten them only once, back in the 1999 World Cup. This Bangladesh side, though, aren't like the also-rans of the past. Showing a resilience that was missing in the past, and starting to shed an over-reliance on a couple of star players, Bangladesh have claimed big scalps in India and Sri Lanka this tournament, and nearly beat Pakistan as well.

Younis Khan said Bangladesh deserved a spot in the final. "They have improved a lot," he said. "They have some aggressiveness in their body language and that helps to bring about positive results. That is the way an international team should play."

Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh's best player over the past few years, was the Man of the Match in both of Bangladesh's victories. Those successes came only because even after Shakib was dismissed the other batsmen didn't fold and nervelessly took the side past the finish line.

"They play good as a group, not individually," Younis said. "If you see the last two games when they won against India and Sri Lanka, they performed as a group. All the bowlers, all the batsmen and all the fielders, they put in their 100%. This is the key thing about their performance."

One thing that has helped Bangladesh is that they have chased in every match of the tournament. Mahela Jayawardene had jokingly suggested the captains should practise tossing coins, as the Mirpur track has generally favoured the team batting second in this tournament. India completed their highest successful chase in ODIs, against Pakistan on Sunday, while Bangladesh have also been solid in hunting down totals. "The management will think of something, maybe we will chase tomorrow," Younis said. "But Bangladesh are good chasers, this is their plus point."

Unusually, Pakistan are the team that has made the least headlines this tournament. Bangladesh's heroics, Sachin Tendulkar's 100th 100, Virat Kohli's masterful 183 and Sri Lanka's listless performance have been discussed threadbare while Pakistan have managed to generally stay under the radar. Tomorrow, they will be hoping to feature in the headline that matters.

Edited by Abhishek Purohit

Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (March 23, 2012, 8:18 GMT)

@salar afridi: If Afghanistan can become a world class team in 2 years then they are better then BD and offcourse better then Pak and any other nations of the world. Cricket is not like piece of a cake, countries take years and sometime decades to became world class. Cant believe a Pakistani dont know cricketing history, so sad. Look back to your own history. And keep in mind what u said one sided friendly, bcoz it will help u understand your irrelevancy. U forgot last visit by bangladesh. I understand why. bcoz tigers makes u fear them. It will be worst for you next time. Best of luck.

Posted by Hassan.Farooqi on (March 22, 2012, 12:03 GMT)

I could not find any reference to Younis Khan suggesting Bangladesh should be dropped from test status. As a matter of fact he did not even suggest Afghanistan should be given test status. Some folks are suggesting it is coming from Waqar Younis which is also incorrect. I do not know where this is coming from. Someone trying to make Pakistan and Bangladesh fight? lol. I know these people suggest Ireland should replace Bangladesh. I disagree. Ireland neither has organized cricket like Bangladesh, nor a fan base like it. The problem of Bangladesh had always been body language, and as Younis Khan pointed, that is changing, bringing different results. Afghanistan has the right body language from day one, and that is why some hope it will be a test level team in 2-3 years.

Posted by maddy20 on (March 22, 2012, 11:58 GMT)

I agree with Younis.I was bamboozled by their tight bowling and sharp fielding. This is not the Bangladesh we knew. Bravo Bangladesh. Well played. If they maintain this level of intensity they will be in the reckoning with the top teams. From an Indian fan.

Posted by BalkrishnaSapre on (March 22, 2012, 7:39 GMT)

Not correct.. Pakistan were drubbed 4-0 by england in ODIs.. all teams have mixed results.. pakistan were not exposed to testing conditions like aus, eng, rsa.. so they look better than others..

Posted by puma75 on (March 22, 2012, 7:33 GMT)

good to see BD rising above the useless team's tag, they are competing ncie and we in Pakistan welcome this and dont take it as lightly as before as cricket. having said this is just a game and not more than tat for us. Politics is and should not be the part of this game. Pakistan zindabad

Posted by jafrul_bdeshi on (March 22, 2012, 7:11 GMT)

Men ! Don't be crazy ! Cricket is a game of funs not boxing. Like all Bangladeshis I am also excited and appreciate very much the TEAM efforts , we have no CRICKET GODS and definitely continue to create GODS not because we have no capability but because GODS like KOHLI ( cricket fans will remember his reaction after making fifty against Pakistan ) will destroy the spirit of this fantastic entertaining game. For us records , history etc are irrelevant we are concerned with the entertainments our team can offer us in any particular contest, when you guys are busy with the records , history , Afghanistan , Namibia etc. etc. we are just enjoying the excitements that we beat World champ India ,SL and facing in final with Pakistan , you guys let us to enjoy now , you men will have enough time to make jokes if you like but we will just ignore and look forward our good days !! Be happy you Pakistani and Indian guys . By the way let me express my sincere gratitudes to all who desr

Posted by BalkrishnaSapre on (March 22, 2012, 7:02 GMT)

Not correct.. Pakistan were drubbed 4-0 by england in ODIs.. all teams have mixed results.. pakistan were not exposed to testing conditions like aus, eng, rsa.. so they look better than others..

Posted by BanglaBandhu on (March 22, 2012, 6:42 GMT)

Lool guys there are three things going on herer at the moment:

1) BAN tour of PAK. Yes PAK do NEED BAN to support them to give them a step back onto international cricket. The ill informed fans who are saying something to the contrary know nothing else.

2) Afghan as a test playing nation - They are a neighbour of Pakistan and require more support for their cause. So if AFGHAN become a test playing nation it will help PAK. However no other country is suggesting giving AFGHAN as chance only the PAK's.

3) PAK v BAN - of course PAK are the favourite but so was IND and SL in their respective matches against BAN. BAN nearly casued an upset against PAK last time so PAK's must be weary - don't get too overconfident as BAN may cause a surprise. Then Mr Khan can give a second interview.

Posted by   on (March 22, 2012, 6:14 GMT)

@chindra bindu ... Same goes for Tendulkar :D :D :D :D

Posted by   on (March 22, 2012, 5:55 GMT)

I am a Pakistani, but looking after the outstanding performances of Bangladesh I am really on their side.

Posted by Jawed_Saleem on (March 22, 2012, 5:51 GMT)

Huge occasion ( and opportunity) for BD cricket and BD fans. Hope & wish that BD tigers maintain the tempo and make a match of it. They (BD) may lack the temperament for the big match. All the best to BD in their quest for a major title. Jawed/Karachi

Posted by JustIPL on (March 22, 2012, 5:39 GMT)

Wonderful rise from Bangladesh and West Indies. These two teams have rebuilt while top team of the past are experiencing a hefty decline. Bangladesh should win it today to start a new era in world cricket.

Posted by   on (March 22, 2012, 5:38 GMT)

@Chandra Bindu, Younis has his own opinion.. just like you have yours.. learn to respect the opinion of others.. don't act immature

Posted by   on (March 22, 2012, 5:04 GMT)

1952>1971>1999>2012! we had done it in the past beating pakistan.....today we ll do it again!!

Posted by chennaicricfan on (March 22, 2012, 4:36 GMT)

@Joy Amin ...." also a lot depends on Tigers for the future of pak cricket "....are you day dreaming my friend.Wake up !!!! Pakistan will never be dependant on BD.

Posted by joseyesu on (March 22, 2012, 3:51 GMT)

Though i agree, I would rather say, India, SL, Pak missing the fire power bowling. Wasim, Akhtar, Murali, to some extent Zak.

Posted by   on (March 22, 2012, 3:47 GMT)

I wud LOVE it if Afghanistan gets test status...then BANGLADESH will have a team that we can MOP THE FLOOR WITH in Test>...eheehhe Before praisin Afghanistan, remember, Afghanistan lost to a third string Bangladesh side in TWNETY20.

Posted by Ahsan_Shere on (March 22, 2012, 3:40 GMT)

My XI: Nasir Jamshed, Muhammad Hafeez, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Umar Akmal, Hammad Azam, Shahid Afridi, Sarfaraz (WK), Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Aizaz Cheema

Posted by   on (March 22, 2012, 3:10 GMT)

Excellent piece. Good words that summarize the current scenario. Have'nt seen such a good article in a long time....

Posted by voyager on (March 22, 2012, 3:01 GMT)

If Younis had made some comments about BD in the past. It was because their performance was substandard for many years running. Now that they have shown glimpse of their potential he is quick and sincere to acknowledge it. he is even boasting their confidence before an important final which shows his sincerity

@Joy and some other posters; take it easy and enjoy the game. Also, do what is in your best interest regarding tour to pakistan. You will be welcomed and taken care off if you come, at that same time we will understand if you don't. Its fine. Really. Sincerely.

Posted by smudgeon on (March 22, 2012, 2:39 GMT)

I really feel like Bangladesh are on the verge here. Of course, we've all thought this previously, but I genuinely think they are about to emerge as a real force. The main difference being that while Shakib is still the center around which their good performances revolve, he's no longer doing it (almost) alone. It's been really encouraging to see the way they have all stepped up in this tournament. Regardless of whether they win against Pakistan (my money's still on Pakistan, but they'll be pushed hard), they can hold their heads up high - and they should take that confidence with them in future series. Although I still can't figure how it is that most people outside of Pakistan have missed the exceptional transformation of the Pakistani side. They were very good in 2011, and while they're different to previous Pakistani sides, I can't see any reason they won't continue to build on their good performances. It really is an extremely interesting time to be a cricket fan, guys!

Posted by Dunwall on (March 22, 2012, 2:14 GMT)

@passionate_berla - Too good? Really? The only time PAK met BD in this tournament, where PAK barely got out alive. On the other hand PAK's morale was crushed, courtesy of IND. And BD has got the confidence from the prev 2 games that they can beat ANY teams.......so, if you consider these points, BD's got a very good fighting chance with PAK. Who knows, may be they can win this match too!...

Posted by   on (March 22, 2012, 1:24 GMT)

Mr. or Mrs.shaanidesi you are right about what you said about bangladesh but you missed a point in the case of afghanistan which is they are playing a lot better then you world champion India.

Posted by RANA1610 on (March 22, 2012, 0:09 GMT)

UNDERSTOOD! BUT WHAT IS YOUNIS THINKING ABOUT HIS OWN TEAM?

Posted by Dashgar on (March 21, 2012, 23:51 GMT)

All this talk of revoking statuses of teams is rediculous. If every team had the same law applied to them then New Zealand, India, West Indies and South Africa would all have been removed from tests after 10 years. Bangladesh are finally starting to compete in the test arena. They would have beaten Wedt Indies if not for rain and should have beaten Pakistan if not for dropped catches this year. Yes they lost to Zimbabwe but that same Zimbabwe team very nearly beat NZ 2 games later. Bangladesh need to play more tests to improve, not less or none.

Posted by cricket_fan_1980 on (March 21, 2012, 23:17 GMT)

get a grip guys, Younis meant that Afghanistan were consistently performing very well among their peers, and often out-performing their peers (associate cricket). Bengladesh on the other hand has actually been performing poorly for a very, very long time with countless chances. So, stop taking his statements out of context. He's just saying Afghans deserve a go at Test cricket because they're showing the mettle, and maybe Beng has to make way because their test status is very poor. However, appreciate a compliment when you guys get one, in ODIs these are two big wins for Bengladesh, and I am very impressed. I am sure Younis is impressed too and that is all he is saying.

Posted by justanotherfan13 on (March 21, 2012, 23:11 GMT)

@ shaanidesi: yes Afghanistan is performing well but only against associate countries, they are no where near Bangladesh at this stage to play test nations. Even last year a 3 rd grade BD team beat them easily.

Posted by KK_BD on (March 21, 2012, 22:45 GMT)

@ shaanidesi, I highly doubt you have checked records. Afga has played againgst Kenya, Ireland, Canada, Netherlands and Pakistan, and won one series against Netherlands when Bangladesh a won a series 4-0 against New Zealand. When Younis touts for Afga, I guess even the non-cricketing nations get the context. Anyway, hope you check records before making comment about any other country or nation.

Posted by riprock on (March 21, 2012, 22:40 GMT)

Last line - "Tomorrow they'll be hoping to feature in the headline that matters." Mr.Siddharth Ravindran, if B'desh beat Pak and lift the trophy..it'll make headlines in cricket like nothing else. Pakistan will anyway feature in it. The irony of your sentence.

Posted by passionate_berla on (March 21, 2012, 22:31 GMT)

Pakistan will rock...Because they are real tigers.....Sorry For Bangladesh But Pakistan will be too good for them in final.

Posted by   on (March 21, 2012, 22:24 GMT)

Who cares about Yunis' opinion? He does not have the simplest commonsense that test status for a new cricket nation does not need to be at the expense of another test team. I wish teams like Ireland, Afghanistan, Nepal or Netherlands or any other team for that matter take a big step and play test cricket as well. It is good for the globalization of cricket. But <adj> people like Yunis just close their eyes and make irrelevant comments. Afghans lost the T20 final even against a third string Bangladesh side. Ireland lost to even Namibia. And we know Bangladesh play T20 the worst, compared to ODI and test. Yunis should better be concerned about his own career than Bangladesh cricket.

Posted by Built_4_the_Kill on (March 21, 2012, 22:17 GMT)

Waqar is right when he talks about test status for Bangladesh. Unfortunately Bangladesh has not shown any progress in test arena. It is the shorter version of cricket where they are more comfortable and they have some credentials to show. Whether or not Afghanistan or Ireland or any other team ready for test cricket is another debate. But one thing is sure, Bangladesh was and still is not ready for test cricket. BD fans should remember that the test status was granted on the basis of one match..... and that was an ODI.

Posted by sri1ram on (March 21, 2012, 22:02 GMT)

Congrats and all the best to B'desh for the finals. Having said this if the NRR had been the criterion, India would have been the deserved finalist. Head to head is all good, but is it really that fair for one-match qualifiers?

Posted by   on (March 21, 2012, 21:59 GMT)

Joy Amin and Kamrul Islam enjoy your candy for as long you have it. You know whats going to happen to you tomorrow!

Once in a while you have your day but remember its take many more such days to be a world class team.

Give Afghans two more years and a fraction of the opportunities your team got and you will see a world class team. Those boys have the attitude to be winners which your team still lacks. btw, I agree with you joy Amin that BD must cancel their tour because that will be just the waste of resources as we in Pakistan enjoy competition and not once sided friendly!

Posted by   on (March 21, 2012, 21:27 GMT)

younis said the test status should be given to Afghanistan,after taking it from Tigers,now that he knows what they are up against and also a lot depends on Tigers for the future of pak cricket,he is just saying this.i dont believe a word he says.i think Tigers should cancel the tour to pak

Posted by shaanidesi on (March 21, 2012, 21:12 GMT)

well this happens only once a while with bangla.. Afghanistan is performing overall..

Posted by   on (March 21, 2012, 20:47 GMT)

Shakib al hassan will be the man of the series.

Posted by   on (March 21, 2012, 20:47 GMT)

Oh my gosh...this Younis Khan is sounding like a clown. Few days ago he was saying Afghanistan should be given test status snatching bangladesh's status. He was pleading to ICC after playing against Afghans in Dubai. Now he is saying this!! This character dont go with a senior international player. Grow up Younis.

Posted by   on (March 21, 2012, 20:28 GMT)

at last younis has said something gud >:P

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Tournament Results
Bangladesh v Pakistan at Dhaka - Mar 22, 2012
Pakistan won by 2 runs
Bangladesh v Sri Lanka at Dhaka - Mar 20, 2012
Bangladesh won by 5 wickets (with 17 balls remaining) (D/L method)
India v Pakistan at Dhaka - Mar 18, 2012
India won by 6 wickets (with 13 balls remaining)
Bangladesh v India at Dhaka - Mar 16, 2012
Bangladesh won by 5 wickets (with 4 balls remaining)
Pakistan v Sri Lanka at Dhaka - Mar 15, 2012
Pakistan won by 6 wickets (with 61 balls remaining)
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