Following the three-match T20I series, the focus has shifted to India vs Bangladesh 1st Test now which will begin from Thursday (November 14) in Indore. Although the first one is yet to begin, the eyes are already on the second Test in Kolkata which is going to be the first-ever day-night Test.
However, that doesn’t mean India are taking Bangladesh lightly for the first Test. India’s regular captain Virat Kohli has returned in the squad who has earlier taken a break during the T20I series. Having made the record of winning 11 consecutive Test series at home, India will look forward to another win.
India have recently thrashed South Africa in the Tests series where Rohit Sharma did a fabulous job. He, who was pushed to the opening slot had smashed tons. Along with him, another opener Mayank Agarwal too has been in the form. With their presence, India will expect a flying start in their innings.
On the other hand, Bangladesh side is currently a weaker one as they will not get the service of Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan. While Tamim has not been featured for his personal reasons, Shakib has been banned for 2 years. Even their pace attack has also been affected by injuries. Currently, they are ranked No. 9 in Tests, and their most recent Test was also a loss to the No. 10 team Afghanistan at home.
Yet, Bangladesh are able to give a tough fight to India. They have already shown in the T20I series what they can do. Test match against a full-strength Indian squad at home although is going to be a different ball game for Bangladesh. However, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Bangladesh stretch India more than South Africa did recently.
However, Bangladesh will look to get the service of Mushfiqur Rahim who led from the front last time with a century from No. 6 in the first innings, while Shakib Al Hasan and Mehedy Hasan scored half-centuries as well. Mahmudullah kept the fight in the second innings with a well-made 64. Mushfiqur, Mahmudullah and Mehedy are in the squad this time as well.
Bangladesh have won against Sri Lanka (in Colombo), Australia (home), Zimbabwe and West Indies (home). Apart from their reversal against Afghanistan earlier this year and Zimbabwe last year, they have been pretty much consistent in Asian conditions. In fact, their coach Russell Domingo is also hopeful about this.
“As the coach and some of the players and all the other senior players, we think that it’s a great opportunity,” Domingo had said recently. “I don’t think India have played a pink-ball Test before. We haven’t played a pink-ball Test. It’s a massive occasion at the Eden Gardens.”
“It will be a new experience for both the teams. So we are very excited about it. It will be a great occasion under the lights against one of the best teams in the world, probably the best team in the world also. So we are really looking forward to the challenge. There are some challenges but it is same for India,” he added.
“They haven’t played a day-night Test match. So it will be same for both the teams, not a lot preparation time but an exciting event. Because of the pink-ball, it may help both the teams little bit close together and we are excited about the opportunity,” he concluded.
However, it would be interesting to see whether India will keep their winning streak intact at home or Bangladesh would be able to turn the table under the new captain.
Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma
Shadman Islam, Imrul Kayes, Liton Das, Mominul Haque (C), Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Mehedy Hasan, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Mohammad Mithun