Team India arrive in Dhaka on ~~Mission Redemption~~

Published: Monday, May 7, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Dhaka:Team India today arrived in Dhaka with redemption on their mind when they take on Bangladesh for three ODIs and two Tests commencing from May 10.

Indian team skipper Rahul Dravid indicated the same while meeting the press on the eve of their journey to Dhaka. The team arrived here this morning amid much fanfare and was immediately frisked off to the team hotel.

On his arrival at the team hotel, Dravid exuded confidence of doing well in the upcoming series.

''We have come fully prepared for the series. The team is confident of doing well and is willing to take on the rivals.

Bangladesh is playing well and we hope to face some good opposition,'' Dravid said.

Asked about the team composition, he said, ''The team has the right combination of young and experienced players. This gives the side a good balance. Some of the senior players have been rested and it gives the newcomers a chance to prove themselves.'' The skipper did not forget to mention that the team was fully prepared to take on the three world class left arm spinners in the Bagladesh ranks.

On whether the heat conditions could be a stumbling block, Dravid said, "The weather is the same for both teams and a lot of our players endure similar conditions in India," he said.

"It is not that we are coming from somewhere where the weather is very different form here, so I don't think it's really an issue for us.

"We had a good camp in Kolkata, the boys really acclimatised well and are looking forward to playing some very good cricket."

The 34-year-old Indian captain's individual prowess in the ODIs has seen him accumulate 10,125 runs and 12 centuries, while the entire Bangladesh team's accumulated collection is 10,794 runs and six centuries.

Despite this divide the series promises to be an intensely contested one with the resurgent Bangladeshi side determined to prove that the World Cup victories against India and South Africa were not flukes.

The Indian team has also gone through a lot of introspection and Dravid's smile hid the pain from the blow he received at the hands of R P Singh when his nasty bouncer jabbed into the grill of his helmet during the conditioning camp in Kolkata, but the wound of being shot out of he World Cup after being beaten by the Tigers on a black Saturday at Trinidad must be more hurting.

If Team India was not so talented that it could bring home the World Cup, it was not so pedestrian that it meant to return after the first round.

But it has happened and the results are evident. A new cricket manager in Ravi Shastri, bowling coach in Venkatesh Prasad and fielding coach in Robin Singh have been appointed.

If Chappell's tenure was characterised by a series of experiments and a stress on ''look ahead'' policy, the new era stresses on ''optimism, positive attitude and enjoying the game''.

Even as the World Cup was on, the BCCI met to select a team both for the Tests and the ODIs to Bangladesh. The team has a few surprises. Skipper Rahul Dravid's two most veteran brothers-in-arm Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly has been oficially 'rested' for the ODIs.

Sehwag's persistent problems with the incoming cherries meant he won't be a safe bet in the Tests but continues to be a part of the ODI side. But the guillotine firmly hangs on his neck. Should he flounder here, it could be back to the blackboard for Sehwag.

However, in came a host of youngsters like Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Dinesh Karthik and rookies Manoj Tewari and Piyush Chawla.

To add to it the inconsistant brilliance of Wasim Jaffer returns with him being drafted back to the side, while journeyman Dinesh Mongia gets yet another chance to redeem himself.

Meanwhile, Harbhajan Singh, Ajit Agarkar and Irfan Pathan have been dropped from both the squads and sent back to the classrooms of domestic cricket. However, Sreesanth, Munaf Patel and Zaheer Khan have retained their places.

The team would like to settle down to a fine rhythm within the next two days so that the script goes according to the plan this time at least.

They take on Bagladesh in the first of the three ODIs at Sher-e-Bangla Stadium at Mirpur on May 10.


Rahul Dravid (capt), Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Dinesh Karthik (stand-by wk), Manoj Tiwary, Dinesh Mongia, Piyush Chawla, S Sreesanth, Munaf Patel, Zaheer Khan and RP Singh. Coach-cum-manager: Ravi Shastri, Bowling coach: B K Venkatesh Prasad and Fielding coach: Robin Singh.

Bangladesh: Habibul Bashar (capt), Mohammad Ashraful (vice-capt), Shahriar Nafees, Tamim Iqbal, Aftab Ahmed, Saqibul Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mohammad Rafique, Abdur Razzak, Mashrafe Mortaza, Shahadat Hossain, Syed Rasel, Javed Omar and Farhad Reza.


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