India not to show mercy to Bangladesh

Updated: 29 June 2008 18:14 IST

Bangladesh should not expect any mercy when they take on India in the super four stage of the Asia Cup on Saturday.

India not to show mercy to Bangladesh


With Indian captain M S Dhoni keen to maintain the momentum, Bangladesh should not expect any mercy when they take on the tournament favourites in the super four stage of the Asia Cup cricket tournament here on Saturday.

Dhoni and his men pummelled minnows Hong Kong and mighty Pakistan with identical ruthlessness and Bangladesh would require a miracle of sort to halt the Indian juggernaut on Saturday.

Sensing that a sense of complacency might creep in among the ranks, Dhoni has already warned his teammates not to lower the guard on Saturday and the Indian captain is not ready to underestimate Bangladesh either.

"Cricket is a cruel game and you cannot afford to relax. 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.

"We have to win all our matches for we want to carry the momentum to the final. I'm happy with the bowlers' performance, while the batsmen too are on song," Dhoni said.

For India, Irfan Pathan is still recovering from the side strain that saw him missing the first two matches and the left-arm seamer is likely to sit out on Saturday as well even though his absence was never felt.

After thumping Hong Kong in the first match, India sent a warning to all by chasing down a 300-run target against Pakistan, which speaks volumes of the team's batting strength.

Pakistan amassed 299 and hoped India would crumble under the pressure but with Virender Sehwag continuing to torment the Pakistanis and in-form Suresh Raina deciding to make up for his prolonged absence in the national team, India made it look like a stroll in the park and cantered to a six-wicket win.

The big-hitting Indian batsmen already have developed a liking for the National Stadium track and Dhoni reckons 300 may seem a difficult target for others, but surely not for his team.

"I always knew that a target of 300 here was always chaseable. The track was fantastic, one of the best in Pakistan. Maybe 340-350 would have been the right score," a confident Dhoni said.

Irrespective of whether they are setting the target or chasing, India got off to flying start with Virender Sehwag and Suresh Raina continuing their red hot form.

Though Gautam Gambhir followed up his fifty against Hong Kong with a single digit score against Pakistan, the attacking left-hander would definitely be tempted to go after the inexperienced Bangla attack on a batting-friendly track on Saturday.

Sehwag has been his usual attacking self, while his aggression seems to have rubbed off on Raina as well as runs continue to flow from their blades.

Though Rohit Sharma is yet to replicate his Twenty20 form in the One-dayers, Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni's presence ensures there is no major hiccup down the order.

Despite Irfan's side strain, there is no major worry in the bowling department and though they allowed Pakistan to post 299 last night, it was more because of the nature of the track than any lapse on their part.

In contrast, the Mohammad Ashraful-led Bangladesh will bank on their limited resources to put up some semblance of a fight against their fancied opponents.

Their bowling attack is decent and fielding is also reasonably good but the batting order sports a brittle look and the Indian attack would prove quite a handful when they take strike on Saturday.

India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (C), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Robin Uthappa, Yusuf Pathan, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Piyush Chawla, Manpreet Gony, Ishant Sharma, R P Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Praveen Kumar.

Bangladesh: Mohammad Ashraful (C), Mashrafe Mortaza, Abdur Razzak, Alok Kapali, Dolar Mahmud, Farhad Reza, Mahmudullah, Mehrab Hossain jnr, Mosharraf Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim, Nazimuddin, Raqibul Hasan, Shahadat Hossain, Shahriar Nafees, Tamim Iqbal.

Topics : Cricket
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