9 May 2007
Bangladesh are facing India in the first of the three match GrameenPhone ODI series at Mirpur Sher E Bangla National Stadium (SBNS) in Dhaka tomorrow (Thursday, May 10th).
This is the first time the two teams are facing each other after the historic World Cup encounter at Queens Park Oval in Trinidad, where Bangladesh toppled India by 5 wickets to send India home from the first round of the World Cup.
Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar said they are ready to live up to the high expectations of fans in the ODI series.
"We know the expectation is high after the successful World Cup campaign and we are also ready to meet that expectation," said Bangladesh skipper Habibul Bashar at a pre-match conference at the SBNS Wednesday.
Bangladesh ready to live up to expectation © Reuters
Bangladesh is playing at home and Bashar believes this will help Bangladesh to raise their game.
"We have the belief that we can beat any team if we play to our potential. India are a good side and we can't afford to take them lightly just because we beat them in the World Cup. But playing at home is always an advantage," said Bashar.
India are also keen to avenge their World Cup defeat and want to concentrate only on playing good cricket. The Indian team is under scrutiny after their World Cup exit and their build-up to the series suffered many problems. Recent revelations about the divisions within the team by an Indian TV channel is the latest blow to the Indian morale.
However, Indian captain Rahul Dravid wants to put everything related to the World Cup behind and start afresh for the ODI series.
"We want to put the disappointment of the World Cup behind us and move on. We look forward to getting on the park to play some good cricket".
Dravid praised Bangladesh for their recent development but promised a professional display to outshine Bangladesh.
"Bangladesh are obviously a very improved team and they showed that at the World Cup. They are very competitive, but we will be equal to the challenge," said Dravid in the pre-match press conference.
Both India and Bangladesh have been hit by injury blows. India?s promising youngster Manoj Tiwary is already out of the ODI series after suffering a shoulder injury, while Bangladesh?s leading paceman Mashrafe Mortaza remains a doubt for tomorrow?s match.
Bangladesh (from): Habibul Bashar (captain), Mohammad Ashraful, Javed Omar, Tamim Iqbal, Shahriar Nafees, Aftab Ahmed, Saqibul Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mashrafe Mortaza, Syed Rasel, Abdur Razzak, Shahadat Hossain, Mohammad Rafique, Farhad Reza.
India (from): Rahul Dravid (captain), Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Dinesh Mongia, Mahendra Dhoni, Dinesh Karthick, Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, Munaf Patel, Zaheer Khan, Rudra Pratap Singh, Piyush Chawla, Ramesh Powar.
Umpires : Ashoka De Silva (Sri Lanka), Nadir Shah (Bangladesh)