India will take on Bangladesh on the 24th of February in Dhaka in their opening match of the Asia cup and could be without their captain MS Dhoni who suffered back spasms. The BCCI found the injury to be serious enough to call for Parthiv Patel as his replacement.
The Indian team manager reported today that Dhoni has been recovering pretty well and will have to take a fitness test tomorrow to see if he has any chance of playing. Even if Dhoni managed to pass the fitness test, it is highly unlikely that India will play him and run the risk of having him suffer a more serious injury with the T20 World Cup around the corner.
Dhoni prides himself on his fitness and have been relatively injury free throughout his career but at the age of 34 injuries are bound to become a lot more frequent. A section of the media hounded Dhoni a few days ago asking questions about his retirement and for once the Indian captain appeared to lose his cool.
Dhoni refused to answer the question stating that he was asked a similar question a few months ago and answered it very clearly. The Indian skipper told the reporter that nothing has changed since then and if he were to ask the question a few weeks later, then answer will continue to be the same.
MS Dhoni will want to lead his side during the opening match of the Asia cup but should he be unavailable vice-captain Virat Kohli will lead the side. Team director Ravi Shastri recently stated that he wanted India to start on a good note instead of following a pattern where they lose the first couple of matches and then come back strong.
In a statement, Shastri said “We don’t want to always come from behind. Sometimes we want to start also well. So hopefully we’ll be looking to do that in this tournament. Like I said, every game from now is important before the World Cup. Yes, we are playing the Asia Cup but the momentum is good so it’s important to keep that momentum going.”
Bangladesh have proven during the last couple of sides that they are capable of beating some of the best teams in the world at home. India will prefer to name an unchanged side throughout its home series against Sri Lanka but should Dhoni be left out, will have to change its team composition. The weather forecast for tomorrow predicts a lot of rain and should the match be cancelled, Dhoni will have sufficient time to rest and be ready for the second game.