On Monday, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the Indian team’s skipper, skipped practice because he had a muscle spasm. Parthiv Patel, the wicketskeeper-batsman, was flown in to be Dhoni’s backup in the match against Bangladesh for the Asia Cup.
Virat Kholi has rejoined the team after he played in two back to back T20 series in which India won. He rested during the Sri Lanka series, and is ready to go with the Indian team in the India – Bangladesh match at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The Asia Cup format has been changed this year. The competition used to be played as 50-over games. It will now be played as 20-over matches. India and Sri Lanka are known to be the strongest teams in this tournament, after having each won the Asia Cup five times.
India is entering the Asia Cup confident of their playing, and expecting a win. Their confidence is coming from just having beaten Sri Lanka in a T20 competition with 2 games to 1, and also having beaten a T20 against Australia with 3 games to 0.
For the Indian team, while the Asia Cup is an important competition, it is somewhat of a preparation for the World T20 that will be taking place in March. The team members will have excellent real match practice, which will help them to reach top form.
Dhoni said: “I will try to give everybody a game because it is something as important as playing with a settled team. It is important for everybody to have games under their belt.”
Ravi Shastri, the team director, was asked to comment on the defeat India suffered the last time the team played a One-Day International in Bangladesh. Shastri was not prepared to give the loss any importance.
He said: “That happened long back. I don’t remember it. I only remember things of the recent past.”