Indian team arrives in Dhaka with aim to win


Dhaka : The Indian cricket team arrived here Monday on a 23-day tour of Bangladesh, determined to prove that their World Cup debacle was a one-off affair, particularly their drubbing at the hands of this country.

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The previous tour was in 2004, when India won the two-match Test series 2-0 and the three-match one-day international series 2-1.

Rahul Dravid's team crashed out in the first round of the World Cup in the West Indies in March and will now try to prove that it is far superior to Bangladesh.

"We are well prepared for the series. It is definitely like any other series, we are here to win," Dravid said on arrival here.

It was the loss to Bangladesh that led to India's exit in the Caribbean.

The Indian team, for the first time without Sachin Tendulkar when he is fit and available for selection, had a five-day conditioning camp in Kolkata from where the 15 players and the support staff left for their first tour of Bangladesh in three years.

Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly have been "rested" but they will play the Test series starting May 18 along five other players – Wasim Jaffar, V.V.S. Laxman, Anil Kumble, Rajesh Pawar and Vikram Raj Vir Singh.

The ODIs will be played May 10, 12 and 15 and the Test matches from May 18 and 25.

This will be the first tour in two years without Greg Chappell as coach. Former India player Ravi Shastri, whose designation is 'cricket manager', has replaced the former Australia captain after the completion of his contract with the World Cup.

The team also has a bowling coach in Venkatesh Prasad, who has replaced Ian Frazer, and fielding coach Robin Singh (senior).

India had proved far superior in 2004 – with Man-of-the-Series Irfan Pathan bowling the team to a 2-0 win in the Test series. Pathan, a left-arm pacer, has been dropped for the current tour.

In the one-day series, Bangladesh registered their first ever win against India, but Ganguly's side won 2-1.

The Bangladeshi team has improved since then under coach Dav Whatmore of Australia. This will be Whatmore's final series for Bangladesh in that capacity and he would like to go out on a winning score.

The ODI series will also be the final one at home for Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar.

"This will be my last one-day series at home and I want to leave on a high. I am saying this because we don't play any more one dayers at home this year and I don't see myself continuing in limited overs cricket by the time the next one-day series is held in Bangladesh," he had said recently.

India's ODI squad: Rahul Dravid (captain), Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthick, Manoj Tiwari, Sreesanth, Munaf Patel, Zaheer Khan, Rudra Pratap Singh, Piyush Chawla, Ramesh Powar and Dinesh Mongia

India's Test squad: Rahul Dravid (captain), Wasim Jaffer, Sachin Tendulkar, V.V.S. Laxman, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wicket-keeper), Sourav Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh, Dinesh Karthick, Sreesanth, Zaheer Khan, Vikram Raj Vir Singh, Munaf Patel, Anil Kumble, Ramesh Powar and Rajesh Pawar


May 10: 1st ODI, Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur
May 12: 2nd ODI, Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur
May 15: 3rd ODI, Bir Shrestha Shahid Ruhul Amin Stadium, Chittagong
May 18-22: 1st Test, Bir Shrestha Shahid Ruhul Amin Stadium, Chittagong
May 25-29: 2nd Test, Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur