Asia Cup 2018: Two wins over Pakistan gives India lots of confidence, feels Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal became the second quickest Indian to 50 ODI wickets. @AFP

The legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who during India’s nine-wicket win over Pakistan in the 2018 Asia Cup on Sunday became the second-fastest Indian bowler to 50 ODI wickets, believes that the team is in a very good space heading into the final.

Rohit Sharma’s team beat Pakistan for the second time in the tournament to confirm their place in Friday’s final, with the stand-in skipper and fellow centurion Shikhar Dhawan putting on a record stand of 210 for the opening wicket.

For Chahal, the team’s unbeaten streak in humid conditions was a very good achievement.

“It feels good, of course. We were positive from the start, beating Hong Kong in a tough game, and then how our plans and training were executed on the ground against Pakistan, that you have seen,” he told reporters after the win. “We haven’t lost a game yet. To beat Pakistan in back-to-back matches ahead of the final gives us more confidence.”

On Sunday, Rohit sprung a surprise on Pakistan by bowling Chahal during the batting Powerplay – something he had done on only four previous occasions. Chahal struck with his first ball, winning an lbw appeal against Pakistan opener Imam-ul-Haq.

“The fast bowlers create pressure, so when we [spinners] come on the pressure is on the batsmen. Accordingly, we plan to bowl to where they can and cannot play shots and build pressure on them,” said Chahal. “If you don’t allow them boundaries they come under pressure. I have bowled a lot during the Powerplay in the IPL and in T20s generally, so it was not a new thing. I train for this in the nets, varying my pace and lengths accordingly.”

As for beating Pakistan for two matches in a row, Chahal did not feel that Sarfraz Ahmed’s team was weakened.

“It happens in cricket. We played pretty well and it is not like that are not a good team. Sometimes it won’t be your day, so it’s not like it was one-sided or anything. If Pakistan win [against Bangladesh] then there is another game with them. It’s not over for them.”