India will be looking for another aggregate performance at Mirpur to give them a 2-0 series win and bolster their chances of reaching the Test World Championship final. They crushed the home team in Chattogram, outplaying them at vital times with someone or the other stepping in to keep them ahead.
Cheteshwar Pujara played two good shots while Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer and R Ashwin also did their job with the bat. Kuldeep Yadav had a good overall outing with Mohammed Siraj critical in the first innings and Axar Patel collecting key wickets in the second. The Chattogram pitch calmed down after a tricky first day and became a great playground, testing the bowlers’ stamina and perseverance. The Shere Bangla National Stadium, however, is known for its raging turners and might require a different skill set, especially from the hitters.
Indian bowling will come in very handy here. Siraj can get some lateral movement, but the bulk of the workload can fall on Ashwin, Kuldeep, and Axar. Where they needed to be ready for long stretches of bowling in Chattogram, they can expect a little more support here.
Bangladesh faces a daunting task. Many feel their biggest challenge is motivating themselves to be more consistent, but there were definitely times at Chattogram where they also fell short of India in the technical and tactical departments. The likes of Litton Das and Mushfiqur Rahim need to get them out of this rut. Zakir Hasan and Najmul Hossain Shanto are also to continue their good work from Chattogram, with India likely having come up with new plans for the former, which debuted a century ago.
In encouraging news for Bangladesh, their fast bowling coach, Allan Donald, said on the eve of the match that Shakib Al Hasan – who looked likely to play as a specialist hitter due to shoulder and rib cage – would play* at Mirpur. This ensures that they will be able to keep the same team composition as used in Chattogram.
Either way, expect a fast-paced contest at Mirpur with wickets falling in clusters.
Bangladesh LLLLD (last five tests, most recent first)
In the spotlight
He doesn’t play often, but on a Chattogram pitch that offered a slow turn, Kuldeep Yadav was a handful in its first test after nearly two years. He ran through Bangladesh’s midfield order and took 5 for 40 in the first leg, and played a key supporting role in the second with three more wickets. Kuldeep should enter the game even more in Mirpur, where the ball also tends to stay low, especially with his ability to subtly change trajectory. The other advantage of Kuldeep is the total lack of training Bangladesh batters have against left arm wrist rotation even in the nets.
Zakir Hassan made a fairy tale entry at the highest level with a first century tryout in Chattogram. Last month he was not originally selected for the Bangladesh A team, but a few strokes of luck and a back-to-the-wall 173 at Cox’s Bazar put him on the radar of the managers. The century of fourth innings at Chattogram has sealed its spot for the test, and a little consistency will cement a long-term spot.
Taskin Ahmed should replace Ebadot Hossain, injured in the back. No other changes are expected, with Shakib ready to play.
Bangladesh (likely): 1 Najmul Hossain Shanto, 2 Zakir Hasan, 3 Yasir Ali, 4 Litton Das, 5 Shakib Al Hasan (captcha), 6 Mushfiqur Rahim, 7 Nurul Hasan (wk), 8 Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 9 Taijul Islam, 10 Taskin Ahmed, 11 Khaled Ahmed
** KL Rahul took a hit in the hand as he hit the net on the eve of the match, and although batting coach Vikram Rathour suggested he had not suffered a serious injury, he there is a chance that he is not fit to play. On Thursday, leaving India without their two first-choice openers – Rohit Sharma has already been ruled out. If Rahul misses the Test match, Abhimanyu Easwaran could come in for his Test debut, with Cheteshwar Pujara taking over as captain.
India (probable): 1 Shubman Gill, 2 KL Rahul (captain)/Abhimanyu Easwaran, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Virat Kohli, 5 Rishabh Pant (wk), 6 Shreyas Iyer, 7 Axar Patel, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Umesh Yadav, 11 years old Mohammed Siraj
Location and conditions
The Shere Bangla National Stadium pitch will help the spinners for most of the test, with the running score probably being easiest on the first day. Expect the team that wins the toss to bat first and avoid having to bat in the fourth inning. The weather looks dry.
Statistics and anecdotes
- Zakir Hasan is the ninth batter to score a first Test century in the fourth inning. Interestingly, the previous drummer to achieve this feat, Kyle Mayers, also did it in Chattogram.
- Cheteshwar Pujara is 16 runs away from becoming India’s eighth batter to hit 7,000 in Test cricket.
- If Axar Patel gets six wickets, he will become the fourth fastest bowler at 50 in Tests, getting there in eight games. Fred Spofforth, Alf Valentine, Rodney Hogg and Terry Alderman also reached the landmark in their eighth tests. Vernon Philander and Tom Richardson achieved it in seven Tests, while Charles “The Terror” Turner needed only six Tests to reach 50 wickets.
“Are there any selectors here? (Laughs) If I speak a bit outside the room, it will be the same three spinners and welcome to Taskin. Khaled too. Sorry for the selectors, but I’m talking a bit out of the room That’s what I see happening. The good news is that Shakib is good to go. Looking at the pitch, I think he will come into play a lot.”
Bangladesh Speed Bowling Coach Allan Donald spill the beans on their jumpsuit
“That wicket, even in the ODIs, we could see he had more assist for the bowlers, he had more pace. I’m sure this game will be decided. I can’t wait to play a good game and win it.”
India Batting Coach Vikram Rathore
*GMT 0520 The preview was updated after Allan Donald suggested Shakib would be fit to bowl.
**GMT 0850 The preview has been edited to reflect the news of KL Rahul’s hit at the nets.
Source : BBNWORLDNEWS