Dhoni injury a worry for India ahead of Asia Cup opener


India are set to test their squad at the Asia Cup as they begin the tournament with a clash against Bangladesh on Wednesday.

For the first time, the event - which also includes Pakistan, Sri Lanka and United Arab Emirates - will be played in the Twenty20 format.

That provides an ideal opportunity for teams to prepare for the ICC World T20 in March and April, with India set to experiment.

Mohammed Shami (hamstring) has been ruled out of the tournament, while there is also an injury cloud over captain MS Dhoni (back).

Parthiv Patel has been called up as cover for Dhoni, who said the Asia Cup would be used to give players an opportunity.

"We will try to give everybody a game," he said.

"It is important to play with a settled team but at the same time it is necessary for everyone to have a game under their belt.

"I feel the conditions in Bangladesh will allow us to give others opportunity. It's important to keep everyone fit.

"If everybody gets a chance to play it will be very good for us. Having said that, we will look to win games and that is top priority."

India last won the Asia Cup in 2010, but this marks the first ever time it is being played in the T20 format.

Hosts Bangladesh await them in the tournament opener at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka.

India come into the event in fine form, having beaten Sri Lanka 2-1 in a three-match T20 series after sweeping Australia.

Bangladesh split a two-match series against Zimbabwe in November last year before sharing the spoils against the same opponents in January through four matches.

They face a huge battle against India, who will fancy their chances of a comfortable win even if Dhoni is sidelined.