Raina praises Rasool, Akshar

India

A new-look bowling attack stood at the fore of captain Suresh Raina's praise, after India won Sunday's rain-affected first ODI against Bangladesh in Dhaka by seven wickets.

A new-look bowling attack stood at the fore of captain Suresh Raina's praise, after India won Sunday's rain-affected first ODI against Bangladesh in Dhaka by seven wickets.

India have rested spinners Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar for this brief three-match series, leaving the relatively inexperienced Akshar Patel, Parvez Rasool and Umesh Yadav to serve instead.

Debutants Patel and Rasool, Yadav – and leg-spinner Amit Mishra – were outstanding at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, sharing eight wickets to ensure the hosts were restricted to a final total of 272 for nine.

"I am very happy with the bowlers, especially Rasool and Akshar. And obviously Mishra. It was very tough for the bowlers in these conditions. Both fast bowlers were cramping up," said Raina, who was named captain in the absence of the rested Mahendra Singh Dhoni. "These are the toughest conditions we have bowled in, in terms of the heat."

A near three-hour rain delay reduced India's target to 150 off 26 overs, with cool, calm and collected half-centuries from openers Ajinkya Rahane and Robin Uthappa completing triumph with seven deliveries to spare.

While Rahane was named Man of the Match for a fine 64 that spanned 70 deliveries and featured five fours and twin sixes, the recalled Uthappa continued the fine stretch of form started in the Indian Premier League with a complementary 50.

"I am pleased, especially Robin and Ajinkya. Robin has been batting well, and Ajinkya is one of the cleanest hitting batsmen I have seen," concluded Raina. The second and third ODI will be played at the same venue on Tuesday and Thursday.

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