Their captain Asghar Afghan had stated before the Asia Cup that their team was not here to just barely make up for the numbers. They were here not only to compete for the sake of it but also to make a statement and so they did!
The ‘Giant Killer’s ended their campaign with wins over Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and a tie against India. Only if either of their close games against Bangladesh or Afghanistan would have gone in their favour, it could have been a different story altogether for the mighty Afghans. But cricket never entertained ‘if’s and but’s and the Afghans went down but not before leaving a mark on the tournament. A kind of mark on a big stage against the big boys of cricket which will never make anyone take them lightly ever again.
Yes, India was not at full strength but their acting captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni could not stop raving about the ‘New Giant Killers’ in town. During a post-match presentation ceremony, Dhoni was all praises for the Afghanistan Cricket Team and was thoroughly impressed by looking at their rise.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni quoted, ” Their (Afghanistan’s) cricket has improved a lot. The way they have continued from the start of the Asia Cup, it is commendable and we have enjoyed their cricket. It is one country that has risen through the ranks very well. They played really well. They batted extremely well too.
As far as his dismissal was concerned which was a clear not-out only if India had their DRS intact, Dhoni said, “Shot-selection is something that we need to work on. There were a couple of run-outs, and a few things we can’t talk about (the incorrect LBW decisions) because I don’t want to get fined for it. It’s good that it’s a tie, but they played really well.
This clearly indicated that the wicket-keeper batsman was indeed quite unhappy with the standard of umpiring in the game and as usual played it smart rather than complaining about it. He made sure to let the umpires know that he is hurt in his very own way. Meanwhile, in all probability, it seems like Pakistan will set a date with India in the all-important final on Friday, the 28th.