Mirpur: India limited-overs captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni will not be taking Bangladesh lightly in their three-match ODI series, especially after admitting concerns over his side's middle-order.
Indian players warm up before the practice session at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur yesterday. Pic/AFP
The teams will meet at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium today as the tourists look to once more assert their authority over a Bangladesh side who have yet to beat India in an ODI series.
Last year's contest at Dhaka resulted in a 2-0 win for the Indians, who also got the better of Bangladesh in the quarter-finals of the World Cup.
Yet Dhoni is in no doubt they are a side on the rise and, as a result, India will not hesitate in fielding their strongest line-up. He told www.bcci.tv: "We will feature the best XI. Bangladesh are a very good ODI team; they have been playing ODI cricket for a long time now.
The captain also sees a weakness in his team's batting order, saying: "The top four-five batsmen in our current line-up, if they are fit and in decent form over the years, they might go into the next World Cup and the Champions Trophy.
Lack of opportunity
"Where we need to improve is with our lower middle-order, particularly number six and seven. In the last year and a half our bottom order hasn't had too many opportunities to bat especially in the subcontinent, where our top-order has done a remarkable job.
It gets difficult for these guys to be more consistent with the bat because an opportunity where they have to score 50-60 runs comes once in 15-20 games."
Dhoni during the last four years has depended on R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja for performing the spinners' duties and is satisfied with how the Tamil Nadu tweaker and Saurashtra left-armer have progressed so far.
Talking on Ashwin, Dhoni said, "He (Ashwin) has shown improvement. That's something very important, especially for a Test cricketer because you play under different circumstances.
Dhoni, who has backed Jadeja a lot said that he is gaining in confidence after coming back from a shoulder injury.