<
>

Bangladesh worthy of full-strength squad - Raina

play
'Important game between India and Bangladesh' - Raina (1:09)

Suresh Raina assures that India and Bangladesh will both go hard and try to win every game in the ODI series that begins on June 18 (1:09)

Suresh Raina has said India arriving at full-strength for the three ODIs against Bangladesh is an indication of "how important a series this is for us."

There had been considerable attention given to the Indian squad the last time they were in Bangladesh. In June 2014, eight first-choice players were rested for a three-ODI tour and seven of them are part of this one. The seven players - MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar - were kept busy in the nets at the academy ground of the Shere Bangla National Stadium two days out from the first game.

Last year, Raina had to juggle a comeback into the national side while captaining it. He had to explain that the men who were picked had proven themselves in domestic cricket. There was no such need this time.

"Yes definitely. You saw that after the IPL, the full Test team came and now the full ODI team has come," Raina said. "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 threat Bangladesh pose also factored into that. They have whitewashed Zimbabwe and Pakistan and appear their most settled in 50-over cricket. Among their resources is fast bowler Taskin Ahmed, who celebrated his ODI debut by running through India's batting order with figures of 5 for 28. He took 3 for 69 at the World Cup quarter-final, also against India.

"He bowled really well in the World Cup," Raina said of Taskin. "They also have Mashrafe Mortaza, Tamim Iqbal, who's batting really well, and Shakib Al Hasan. They have lots of youngsters and they did really well in the World Cup.

"If you ask me about our team, we have done really well in one-days over the years. We are looking to enjoy each and every game. We're here to play cricket, and we'll be focusing on our strengths. The team has been working really hard. We have one more practice session tomorrow and hopefully all set for the game tomorrow."

The series was scheduled with reserve days, keeping in mind the monsoon in Bangladesh. All three matches during the last bilateral series had been affected by rain. Wet weather is expected to play a part again, but Raina said the extra day would help in trying to salvage a result.

"It's a good thing because if the match can't get over on the first day, we have a day in reserve," Raina said. "But it means we'll have to think of two days. The rain is not in our hands. We have had a good batting and bowling session and we'll go and field now. We'll have a good meeting afterwards and once the match starts we'll be focussed. The weather is not in our hands."