Monday, July 16, 2018 01:11:20 AM
Bangladesh will take on India in the solitary Test of the Za 'n Zee Ice Cream Cricket Series at Khan Saheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah today (Wednesday).
The eighth Test meeting between the two will start at 10am Bangladesh time.
Bangladesh has less risk to lose from this Test than India. A defeat against Bangladesh will cause a slip for India's position to seventh from third in the ICC Test rankings, with 95 points. Only a victory can help them to earn one point and to retain their third place.
A draw will drop India to 97 points, but will stay above England (5th) and Pakistan (6th).
Bangladesh never tasted victory in the longer format of cricket but managed a draw, in their seven Test meetings all in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh dashing opener Tamim Iqbal is seven runs away from leapfrogging Habibul Bashar's tally of 3026 runs as the highest Test scorer for Bangladesh.
However, there will be another special attention on Mominul Haque's attempt heading to equal de Villiers' record of successive-fifties.
Mominul's world record, just a half-century away, can happen in the one-off Test against India.
The 23-year-old of Cox's Bazar, scored an innings of 50-plus runs in each of his last 11 Tests to draw level of Viv Richards, Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag in achieving this feat and just one step away of AB de Villiers who made fifties in 12 successive Tests.
Mominul contributed a polished second-innings 68 for Bangladesh in their last Test match against Pakistan.
World-class all-rounder in all formats of cricket Shakib Al Hasan did not bowl well against Pakistan, but made two important contributions with the bat. He will once again be relied upon to lead a lop-sided bowling attack and to be the middle-order enforcer while batting.
Five Bangladesh players of the current squad have played a Test against India while only three of the Indians have played against Bangladesh.
Litton Kumar Das has an opportunity to make his debut as wicketkeeper, if the Tigers' Test skipper Mushfiqur Rahim fails to continue keeping wicket due to his finger injury, suffered during the series against Pakistan.
The other decision is whether to pick both pacers Mohammad Shahid and Rubel Hossain. If there is space for just one, then Rubel has the edge and would be playing at Fatullah for the first time, never having played even a first-class match at this venue.
The Tigers are missing the World Cup hero Mahmudullah in the series due to a fractured finger, suffered during practice on June 4, which caused him to be out of action for three to four weeks, replaced by Nasir Hossain.
Bangladesh picked up eight batsmen often played in the last 12 months, with allrounder Shuvagata Hom having played against Pakistan at number eight.
On the other hand, India who have not played a Test in Bangladesh since 2010 are making a fresh start with Virat Kohli beginning his stint as a full-time Test captain. He might field a squad comprising five batsmen, a wicketkeeper and five bowlers, but given the conditions selecting a sixth batsman will not be a conservative choice.
Virat Kohli on the road ahead for his team said, "I have some vision in my mind which I have discussed with the team, we are all on the same page, it is pretty exciting for me to start as full-time Test captain and hopefully it is a positive start."
Shikhar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara will replace Kannaur Lokesh Rahul who is ill and Suresh Raina from the XI India fielded in Sydney in their last Test in January.
Seamers Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Varun Aaron are competing for one spot, as are spinners Karn Sharma and Harbhajan Singh.
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