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Didn’t expect India to take series so lightly: Rahim

Mirpur: Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim has expressed disappointment over India’s decision to send a weakened squad for the three one-dayers, but added that the move will act as extra motivation for the hosts.

India’s 15-member squad will be captained by Suresh Raina and doesn’t include most of the regular players, including Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli.

“I didn’t expect them to take this series so lightly. We have a chance to give a reply on the field. There is extra motivation. They haven’t invited us yet, so if we do well in this series, it sends a message,” added the wicketkeeper-batsman.

Mushfiqur is also banking on star all-rounder Shakib-al Hasan, who is part of the high-flying Kolkata Knight Riders team, to provide inputs on the visiting Indian players.

“I know most of them and have seen them play, but Shakib has played against all of themů So we will pick his brain. In this day and age, it is hard not to have knowledge on a player,” said Mushfiqur.

Mushfiqur also believes that the pressure will be on the visitors. “We have defeated their best team in the past. This time, they have a young team, and despite the standard of the IPL, international cricket is a more difficult stage. One should not forget that if they lose, India will lose, not India A. The pressure will be on them,” said Mushfiqur. But facing an inexperienced side may be a double edged sword for the hosts and Mushfiqur said that he will not make the mistake of taking the young Indians lightly.

“After seeing their team, I realised that there will be more expectations from us. Usually, there is more pressure when we play against India, even when they had Dhoni.

“Everyone wants us to beat them, so the pressure has always been there. We have to focus on what we are doing, since we have struggled in the last few months. If we can play to our potential, it is not impossible to beat their team,” he said.

The teams are scheduled to play the three ODIs on June 15, 17 and 19, at the Sher-e-Bangla National stadium.

The series versus India will be Bangaldesh's first under new coaching staff. Sri Lankan Chandika Hathurusingha has been appointed the head coach of the team while former Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak has been recruited as the bowling coach.

According to a cricket specific website, Streak will be working for 450 days across two years and will also be a consultant for the other teams under the Board.