Uncertainty continues as MS Dhoni misses training session on eve of India's Asia Cup opener
MS Dhoni’s availability for India’s Asia Cup opener against Bangladesh on Wednesday continues to remain in doubt as the 34-year-old missed the entire training session of the Indian Cricket team on Tuesday, The New Indian Express reports. However, it is understood that the team management will make a final call on the eve of the match to provide Dhoni maximum time to recover.
The Indian team’s comprehensive T20 series victories over Australia away and later at home against Sri Lanka had skyrocketed the confidence within the Indian camp ahead of the Asia Cup and World T20 events. News of Dhoni suffering an injury – muscle spasm to be specific – while undergoing training on Monday had dealt a huge blow to India’s preparations and more than 24 hours later, doubts still persists as to the skipper’s availability for the tie against Bangladesh.
Though Dhoni accompanied his teammates to the training session held at the Khan Saheb Osman Ali Stadium earlier today, he remained a spectator as the likes of Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma underwent batting practice. Sources in the know-how of Dhoni’s routine ahead of matchdays suggested that the Jharkhand superstar usually spends some time playing football while also having a crack with the bat.
It remains to be seen though whether Dhoni was simply being cautious to avoid aggravating the injury as the Indian team management also remained tightlipped about the situation.
"He (Dhoni) has been recovering well but we will assess his fitness ahead of the match tomorrow," said Team India manager Nishant Arora, as reported by India Today.
Dhoni’s non-availability could see India making big changes in the batting order
Should Dhoni fail to clear the fitness test ahead of the match tomorrow, the diminutive Parthiv Patel, who has been flown in as a back-up for the Indian skipper, will in all likelihood find a place in the playing eleven. The 30-year-old has been in fine form in the domestic circuit but it will be interesting to see how he is accommodated in the batting line-up.
Though Parthiv’s best outings in the T20 format have come as an opener, it is unlikely that the in-form pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma will be split to accommodate the wicket-keeper. This could mean that the Gujarat cricketer could be slated to come in even behind Hardik Pandya, with the former not best at clearing the ropes.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza said that the former World T20 champions had enough quality in them to remain the undoubted favourites for tomorrow’s contest even if Dhoni failed to make the cut.
"Dhoni has been a tremendous player but with the batting order that they have they will not miss him so much," Mortaza said.