India vice-captain Shikhar Dhawan said the six-time champion would not take surprise package Bangladesh lightly in Friday’s Asia Cup final.

An under-strength Bangladesh side fought like tigers to beat Pakistan on Wednesday in a Super Four match that was essentially a semi-final.

Pakistan, chasing 240 to win in Abu Dhabi, was restricted to 202-9 by a team lacking two of its best performers. All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has a finger injury, while batsman Tamim Iqbal fractured his wrist in the opening match of the tournament against Sri Lanka.

Shakib and Tamim are now back in Bangladesh and will miss the final.

India has been in rampant form, beating Pakistan by eight wickets and nine wickets, and Sri Lanka by seven wickets.

India’s Shikhar Dhawan smiles as he responds to a question from a journalist during press conference on the eve of final cricket match of Asia Cup between India and Bangladesh, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

“Even though it is not Pakistan in the final, it changes nothing for us,” Dhawan said. “We are not going to take Bangladesh lightly. I think they are a fantastic team. Bangladesh has improved in leaps and bounds over the last few years.”

Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza is under no illusions about the size of the task facing his team.

“I know it will be difficult against India, but what we have managed to achieve so far in this tournament, especially without Shakib and Tamim, who have repeatedly been our match-winners in the past, is commendable,” Mortaza said.

“We played yesterday so it goes without saying that we are physically tired. We just have to manage that. I still think we can beat India, but we really have to have spells in the match that go our way.”

Source: The Associated Press

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