India wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik said he respects how Bangladesh have grown as a cricketing nation over the years. However, the former world champion will focus on their own process when they take on the Tigers in the grand finale of the Nidahas T20I tri-nation series at R Premadasa Cricket Stadium in Colombo Sunday.
Bangladesh, despite being the least favourite in the series stormed into the final with flying colours. The Tigers were undoubtedly the most exciting team in the league phase of the tournament with two nail-biting victories over host Sri Lanka. The side first chased down 215 runs and then Friday, won the game by two wickets with a ball to spare.
"As a team they are known for that (tenacity). They really try hard. They are a team that achieved Test status not many years ago, from there on they have propelled in all formats of the game and done well for themselves. Especially in sub-continent conditions they are a very good team. We are focusing a lot on our processes, our routines that has given good results till now. We are well led by Rohit [Sharma] and the team has been doing well. In terms of preparation we will try to keep as similar to what was in the previous game and not thinking too much," said Karthik to the media at the pre-final press conference in Colombo Saturday.
In the two first-phase matches against Bangladesh, India have been on the winning end. However, facing the Tigers in the final an added pressure is expected. India, despite sending a second-string side missing key players can’t possibly contemplate losing to Bangladesh, added Karthik. Till date, the side have faced Bangladesh seven times in the format, winning all seven of them.
"Let's be fair to India as a cricketing nation - whether we play the second-string or the first-string team that's always the case. When we play Bangladesh, if we win it's like, ‘Ok, you've won against Bangladesh’, but if we lose it's like, ‘Dude, you've lost to Bangladesh. What are you doing?’ I'm sure that's going to be there. With Rohit, the first thing that he said was that although we have a few of our other players missing, we're looking to play exactly the sort of cricket that we've played in the past one year. We're looking to win every match. Till now we've been pretty successful in this tournament and we're looking forward to one more game. I'm sure it will be a very good match," Karthik explained.
Out of the six matches played in the series, five were won by the side chasing. The only time a team failed to chase was when Bangladesh fell short by 17 runs when they took on India for the second time. Despite the results favouring the chasing team, Karthik said much depends on the condition on a given day.
"It's not easy, but if there's dew it is considerably easier. It's a bit of a cat-and-mouse game. You have to see when you can score and against who you can take a chance. It's not easy. I don't know much about the wicket, but if the dew settles it's much easier for the team that bats second. If there's no dew then it's going to be a great game. If the wicket is slow and it's going to turn, it will be a challenge. The team that bowls better has a better chance to win the final," the right-handed India batsman explained.