Dhoni: We’re expected to beat Bangladesh


India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni feels his side had no other choice but to win the Asia Cup final against Bangladesh, as the criticism back home would have been deafening if they'd lost.

While Bangladesh is no longer a minnow side, and have beaten India in the past, Dhoni felt a loss to the Tigers would have been disastrous for the team heading into the World Twenty20 at home.

Dhoni said after his side's eight-wicket win: "India losing a final is a bigger headline than India winning a final.

"It's like putting in a lot at stake: if you win then they say 'nothing really'; if you lose to Bangladesh, say people 'oh, you lost to Bangladesh?'

"You're supposed to win. It's like a game where a lot is at stake but when you win, you actually don't take anything forward."

He added of the Tigers: "Things have changed. It's not like the 2004 Bangladesh team. They have a fantastic squad right now.

"They have improved a lot, and that's what is showing in their performance on the field. So it was an important one to win."

Dhoni looked ahead to the WT20 in India this month, and said that paceman Ashish Nehra could still make way for Mohammed Shami if the latter is able to get fit in time, despite Nehra's good efforts recently.

The skipper said: "Whether Shami is fit or not, we'll see. He still has a bit of time. The only reason he was picked was because, he is someone who can deliver with the old and new ball, yorkers being his strength.

"I think it's very difficult to replace [Jasprit] Bumrah. He has the strength of bowling yorkers at will, and with the new ball also he has contributed.

"Nehra has also contributed. Few games ups and downs happen in T20. Hardik Pandya, he's a fast-bowling allrounder. If Jadeja or him can bat No. 8 and they can give me three or four overs, then it looks like a better balanced side.

"For Shami to replace [someone], it would be Ashish. Ashish is the only slot, but to replace Ashish would be very tough. The reason being he has done very well for us, he has moved the ball around.

"But Shami will have to prove his fitness in the warm-up games. If he does, he will stay ahead with the team."