India are all set to play Bangladesh in the first ODI of the three-match series on Sunday in Dhaka. Ahead of the first ODI, Indian skipper Rohit Sharma said that the series will not be a cakewalk for them against a much-improved Bangladesh side, which has given ‘Men-in-Blue’ a lot of competition over the years.
“For the last 7-8 years, Bangladesh has been on a different side. They have been a challenging team. We have not had easy wins against them and had to play good cricket against them to win. It was close during the 20-20 World Cup. We lost a series in 2015 here. By no means we have come here thinking it is going to be a cakewalk for us. They are a very improved team,” said Rohit in a pre-match press conference.
With the 2023 ODI World Cup to take place in India next year, Sharma said that the team management is not thinking that far ahead.
We just want to play good cricket till WC : Rohit Sharma
“But we will keep an eye on where we need to improve as a team. It is important for us to not think about so many things at once like we have to use this or that combination, we have to play this guy or that guy or the World Cup. Me and coach have a fair idea as to what we want to do. We will narrow it down once we are close to World Cup. We just want to play good cricket till WC,” he added.
Asked about the hectic schedule of the sport, Rohit said, “As professionals, we have to keep up with intensity. We manage players, we give them rest to manage the workload, keeping the bigger picture in mind. There is going to be a lot of cricket always, you have to manage.”
After the three-match ODI series, India and Bangladesh will play a two-match Test series starting 14th December. The series holds tremendous importance for India for their qualification for the final of the World Test Championship next year.
India’s squad for Bangladesh ODIs: Rohit Sharma (C), KL Rahul (VC), Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Rajat Patidar, Shreyas Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ishan Kishan (WK), Shahbaz Ahmed, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Mohd Siraj, Deepak Chahar, Kuldeep Sen, Umran Malik.