Former captain Sourav Ganguly has lauded the decision to rest India's top players in the three-match ODI series in Bangladesh in June. Suresh Raina, who is reportedly in love with actress Shruti Hassan, will be leading a young side that also includes top Indian Premier League batsman Robin Uthappa and Bengal all-rounder Manoj Tiwari. (Raina to Lead vs Bangladesh, Uthappa in ODI Squad)
After a hectic IPL season, India will be without top stars Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin. Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim is unhappy that India are sending a second-string side. (Bangladesh Tour Will be Good Preparation Before England Tour: Raina)
Speaking to www.gocricket.com, Ganguly said: "Very rightly so the selectors have rested the regular players. Robin Uthappa has been rewarded for his good showing in the IPL. It's great to see him back in the one-day format after a long time. He has probably returned a better players. His technique has improved at this (IPL) level and we will have to wait and see what he does at the international level."
Uthappa is the leading run-getter in IPL 2014. The Kolkata Knight Riders opener has scored consistently for his team and has been the chief batting mainstay. "It's a great opportunity for Uthappa. Although scoring runs in IPL and in an international match are different, Uthappa has looked solid. I still feel the opener's slot in the Indian team is up for grabs," said Ganguly. (Gambhir in Squad for England)
Ganguly is happy to see Manoj Tiwari back in the Indian team for the three-ODI series. Teammates at KKR and the Bengal Rani Trophy team, Ganguly feels Tiwari has been an unlucky cricketer as far as his international career goes. Tiwari has played eight ODIs, scoring 251 runs with a century and a fifty. The 29-year-old Bengal all-rounder has also played three T20 internationals.
"Tiwari has had a short but good international career. He has stood out every time he has been given an opportunity but injuries have pushed him back all the time. Hopefully, he can put his problems behind and score the runs. He has the temperament and three ODIs is a big-enough tournament for all those who want to stake their claim for the regular Indian side," said Ganguly.
The three ODIs against Bangladesh will be played in Mirpur (Dhaka) on June 15, 17 and 19.