The India team's short tour next month has been touted as a big draw card for Bangladesh's cricketing portfolio, both in terms of television audiences and playing quality opposition. However, as many as seven senior players -- skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Shami and Shikhar Dhawan -- were rested from the squad, named yesterday, for the three ODIs against Bangladesh starting on June 15, perhaps undermining both those considerations.
Instead of MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma, leading the side will be left-handed batsman Suresh Raina, who was dropped from India's last international limited-overs assignment -- the Asia Cup. Raina has been having a middling Indian Premier League (IPL) for the Chennai Super Kings, which is why his ascension to captaincy may raise eyebrows.
Meanwhile, on the same day, India named a full-strength 18-man squad for the five-Test tour of England, starting in July. It is of course normal to rest players who have been serving for a long time -- such as Dhoini and Kohli -- especially at the end of a two-month IPL campaign but it is somewhat alarming that relatively young players such as Ashwin, Jadeja and Shami, whose career began with West Indies' tour of India last November, have been rested.
Much had been made of the Bangladesh Cricket Board's (BCB's) deal-brokering in the Dubai ICC meetings when the controversial revamp of the ICC was tabled and Bangladesh's future was at stake. BCB president Nazmul Hassan Papon's opposition at the time was met with the proverbial carrot on a stick being offered by BCCI in the form of playing commitments with Bangladesh, almost certainly in an effort to get BCB on-side before the votes were cast on the proposed revamp. With the carrot taken, it seems that now all that BCB are left with is the stick.
SQUAD: Suresh Raina (capt.), Robin Uthappa, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ambati Rayudu, Manoj Tiwary, Kedar Jadhav, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Parvez Rasool, Akshar Patel, R Vinay Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Stuart Binny, Mohit Sharma, Amit Mishra.