The three-match ODI series between India and Bangladesh is all set to get underway in Dhaka on Sunday (December 4).
On the eve of the opening ODI, India skipper Rohit Sharma addressed a press conference, where he said that the series will be anything but a cakewalk for his side.
Rohit also spoke about the rivalry between the two teams which has become bigger in recent years.
“I think it’s been an exciting rivalry over the years but over the last 7-8 yrs they have been a different team and been very challenging and we have not had easy wins. In the T20 World Cup, it was a close game. It won’t be a cakewalk for us because they are a much-improved side,” said Rohit.
“It will be an exciting series, Bangladesh is a challenging team and we have to play well to beat them. They will be competitive in their own backyard,” he added.
The hosts have suffered a massive blow ahead of the series as captain Tamim Iqbal has been ruled out due to an injury. However, the Indian skipper saw it as an opportunity for the youngsters to make a mark.
“Honestly, we don’t look at opposition composition too much and our focus is playing together as a team. They will miss their experienced players but that also gives an opportunity for the younger guys to come in and make a mark,” said Rohit.
While Rohit Sharma acknowledged that the amount of cricket has increased over the past few years, he insisted that the intensity of his team will not drop.
“Yes, there is a lot of cricket but as a professional, you have to keep up with the intensity. We try to manage people and give them breaks. Keeping the bigger picture in mind – cricket is not going to stop but we have to manage ourselves with higher intensity. The freshness of players is also very important,” he said.
Talking about the pitches for the 50-over series, Rohit said: “Its not the easiest thing to judge but as far as I am concerned we have played a lot of cricket in the sub-continent and somewhere down the line they tend to behave the same. On days there can be extra bounce and extra grass can give a bit of lateral movement. So these things need to keep in mind.”
India squad for Bangladesh ODIs:
Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Rajat Patidar, Rahul Tripathi, Akshar Patel, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Sen, Umran Malik, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Shahbaz Ahmed, Mohammed Siraj
(With PTI inputs)