India vs Bangladesh Asia Cup: Nursing back spasms, Dhoni's availability for tournament opener at Mirpur not clear

According to a report in The Times Of India, Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Tuesday skipped the entire training session of the Indian cricket team here even though he accompanied the side to the ground. “Nursing back spasms, Dhoni's availability for the match at Mirpur on Wednesday is not clear with his vice-captain Virat Kohli also refraining from giving a clear response. While a lot of players don't train on pre-match days, Dhoni normally plays football and does batting practice in the nets. Although, he never does any keeping drills during training sessions, he does gather a few before taking the field on match days,” says the report, adding that in a nutshell, Dhoni can't be ruled out till the playing XI is announced before toss on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Indian batting mainstay Virat Kohli said the Asia Cup is a perfect platform to assess the team’s strengths, weaknesses and its current standing on the global stage ahead of the big-ticket World Twenty20 next month. “Going into the World Cup as I said, the conditions are going to be similar and we will probably be playing all these oppositions at some stage. So, as many teams as we play before the World Cup, it gives us a great opportunity to assess what the teams are like, what the balance is like, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and where do we stand compared,” said Kohli, according to a report in NDTVSports.

According to a report in The Indian Express, even though all the matches of the tournament will be played at the more recognizable Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in Mirpur, MS Dhoni & Co have chosen the nondescript Fatullah ground for training because of its location — far away from the hustle and bustle of Dhaka — and its quietude.

“The area being a cantonment town, though, have led to some unlikely restrictions being imposed. Usually India’s practice sessions in this part of the world witness a decent audience. This time, however, the stands remained empty though not because the passionate Bangladeshi cricket faithful didn’t want to be there but more due to them not being allowed to even stand in front of the stadium entrance to welcome the Indians. The Indians didn’t seem too bothered with practicing in front of the empty stands. They have bigger goals in sight. They have arrived here on the back of a stunning run in T20 cricket, having thrashed Australia 3-0 and downed Sri Lanka 2-1 in the space of three weeks. And with the World T20, which they will host just around the corner, the Asia Cup — being played in the shortest format for the first time ever — is the ultimate build-up. That’s not the case just for them, but for all the other four nations in the main draw, including the hosts,” adds the report.