Dhoni wary of unpredictable Bangladesh

Wary of an unpredictable Bangladesh team, Indian skipper MS Dhoni on Friday said his side would not make the mistake of taking their opponents lightly.

updated: July 02, 2008 17:26 IST
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Wary of an unpredictable Bangladesh team, Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Friday said his side would not make the mistake of taking their opponents lightly as even a hint of complacency could lead to them being upstaged in the super-four encounter of the Asia Cup on Saturday.

India start overwhelming favourites on Saturday but Bangladesh are known to stun fancied teams once in a while which has prompted Dhoni to remind his players of the perils of taking the opposition lightly.

"Cricket is a cruel game and you can't afford to relax any day. We are here like the others to try to win this tournament as it is a big one from the Asian point of view," Dhoni said.

Dhoni said Thursday night's win over Pakistan, which gave the Indians two carry-forward points, was just the kind of morale booster needed ahead of the super-four stage.

"We are carrying two points forward with us and that is a very big advantage for any side," he said.

India go into Saturday's match still unsure about the fitness of Irfan Pathan, who has not played in the last two matches due to a side strain.

Among the other super-four qualifiers, Pakistan is likely to be without top pacer Umar Gul, who bowled just eight deliveries against India before limping of with a rib cage injury.

"Gul is a key bowler for us and his absence will make a difference to us on these type of pitches. But like any other side we have to learn to cope with these injury problems and do our best we still have a balanced outfit to see us through," Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik said.

With all the super four stage and final of the tournament to be played at the National stadium here, it is expected that in some matches the bowlers might have an edge over the batsmen which would make winning the toss significant for the captains.

Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene, whose team beat Bangladesh and UAE in the qualifying rounds in Lahore, said despite the competition expected to be tough, his side was confident of winning the trophy.

"We are all feeling confident of our chances but we still need to streamline some things in the team. But the fact is that all the teams in the main rounds are a threat to us," he said.

Jayawardene echoed his Indian counterpart, Dhoni's, view that Bangladesh was capable of upsetting any team on their day and therefore the two carry-forward points his team has would come in handy.

"The good thing is we are also carrying forward two points but we still have to do our best to win all our matches and make the final. But otherwise the players are in fine nick and confident," he stated.

"The sort of preparation we got by playing in Lahore is good for us," he added.