Bangladesh now a strong team: Rohit


India’s stand-in captain Rohit Sharma said on Saturday that Bangladesh are now a strong cricketing unit with some mature players.

"All these years, we have seen how Bangladesh has performed not just at home but also away. They have always put us under pressure. There is no way we would look at this team differently," Rohit told reporters here.

"I understand there are two key players (Tamim Iqbal and Shakib) missing but they still have quality in their squad which can upset any team on that particular given day. There are matured cricketers in their side," he said.

He said that depending on the pitch condition, India may field either three pacers or spinners in tomorrow’s T20I match against Bangladesh here tomorrow. "A lot has got to do with how the pitch is going to play. If the pitch is slow, slow bowlers come into the play a lot. If it means we have to play three spinners, then we will play three spinners. And if there is grass and we feel there will be some bounce, then we might play with three seamers as well. So everything depends on the conditions," said he.

Shivam Dube, Sanju Samson, Rahul Chahar and Deepak Chahar will all look to make a lasting mark if they get a chance against Bangladesh.

India are set to field a young side as they look to blood fresh talent keeping in mind the T20 World Cup in Australia next year.

It will be particularly interesting to watch if Mumbai all-rounder Shivam Dube, known for his big hitting  in T20I, gets a chance and if he is able to live up to the billing.

Rohit hinted Mumbai all-rounder Shivam Dube could be handed his international debut when the hosts clash with Bangladesh in the opening Twenty20 here.

While the skipper spoke highly of Dube and Sanju Samson, he acknowledged the Kerala wicket-keeper's experience.

Rohit said one of the two players could be seen in the playing XI.

"We will assess now and probably a bit before the game as well. But both (Sanju and Dube) are definitely in the fray. One of them might definitely play. All doors are open for everyone. Anyone might come into the playing XI any moment," said Rohit at the pre-match press conference.

Rohit, leading the side in the absence of Virat Kohli who has been rested, backed Delhi lad and wicket-keeper Risabh Pant, an indication that Samson may not figure in the XI.

"We have to back him (Rishabh). He has only played 15-20 T20s. It's too soon to judge him. There's still lot of time left before passing a judgement on Rishabh," he said.

Rohit expressed happiness that the young generation is providing India with a lot of options.

"Sanju is one of them. He has been performing quite well in the domestic circuit and IPL, and Shivam is somebody who has come into the ranks last year. He is somebody who has made his mark just before last year's IPL auction which is why people were so keen to buy him."

"There are a lot of new guys in the squad. They have not played a lot of T20 for India and we have to give them opportunities and see what we have before we go for that World Cup in Australia."

The last time India and Bangladesh had met was in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup in England last summer when India won by 28 runs after posting 314/9, powered by Rohit's 92-ball 104.

In T20Is, the two sides had last met in the Nidahas Tri-Series final in Colombo in 2018 when a late blitz from Dinesh Karthik saw India scampering to a last ball victory.

Bangladesh have come close to beating India a few times but have lost each of the eight fixtures against them.

The smog in Delhi might make visibility a factor and even pose other difficulties. The temperature is expected to hover around 30 degrees and dew could be a factor. Ends