Pleased India sending full-strength teams to Bangladesh: Mashrafe

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Dhaka, May 21 (IANS) Bangladesh cricket captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza is happy that India has announced full-strength squads for its tour next month.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday named a Virat Kohli-led Test side and an One-Day International (ODI) squad captained by Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The announcement ended speculation of India resting their top players, reports

Mashrafe said he had been hoping that India would bring their strongest team to Bangladesh.

“Everyone had been hoping for their best team. We knew any India team would be a challenge. As it’s their full team, the challenge is even greater,” Mashrafe said on Thursday.

Indian selectors have pinned their hopes on their World Cup team that beat Bangladesh in the quarterfinal at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in March.

“The ODI squad is quite identical to the World Cup’s. Only (Mohammad) Shami isn’t there due to injury. Their batting is undoubtedly the world’s No.1. It will be a huge challenge for our bowlers,” said the skipper.

Right-arm seamer Dhawal Kulkarni has been drafted in to replace pacer Shami.

India toured Bangladesh last year for three ODIs in which they rested Dhoni and Kohli and sent a team led by Suresh Raina.

“There is always an extra pressure if the full team doesn’t come. At least the question won’t be asked this time. We will have the motivation to play well. They played in the World Cup semi-finals – it is their best team. The job is very difficult for us,” Mashrafe added.

The Indian team will arrive in Bangladesh for a Test and three ODIs on June 7. The one-off Test at Fatullah’s Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium will begin on June 10. The day-night ODIs will be played at Mirpur’s Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on June 18, 21 and 24.

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