Rain threat looms large again over India-Bangladesh ODIs
That India, ranked No. 3 in the ICC ratings, are taking their first ODI since they exited the ICC World Cup semifinal on March 26 very seriously is not in doubt. What appears to once again be the talking point in Bangladesh, however, is the monsoon weather that threatens to have a say in the three-match series, starting with the first game against the hosts at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Thursday.
Rain allowed only 184.2 overs to be completed during the one-off Test in Fatullah last week, and the forecast is not a lot better for Mirpur with thunderstorms and showers predicted. The tone is striking to that of the last Bangladesh vs India ODI series, played in Mirpur in June last year, and in which two completed ODIs were interrupted by rain and the third washed out after just 34.2 overs.
Seven of the eight players who were rested for that short ODI tour – MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar – are this time part of a full-strength side which shows how serious the Indian team is taking this series. Suresh Raina, who led a weakened side last year, spoke of this fact ahead of the first ODI.
“You saw that after the IPL, the full Test team came and now the full ODI team has come,” he told reporters at the Shere-e-Bangla National Stadium after training on Tuesday. “Bangladesh have done well in ODIs recently, and this shows how important a series this is for us. We have done well in ODIs recently, and we are looking forward to it.”
The makeup of India’s XI is likely to resemble that which went unbeaten at the World Cup until the semifinal at the SCG, with the exception being the absent Mohammed Shami. In his place, Bhuvneshwar Kumar should return.