New-look India take fresh guard against improved Bangladesh

first_imgNew format and new captain in Virat Kohli as India take on an improved and fearless Bangladesh in the one-off Test match starting on Wednesday. This will be literally Kohli’s big test as full-time captain after MS Dhoni announced his retirement from Tests few months ago in Australia.During the Australia series, Kohli was filling in for an injured Dhoni but this Test will be completely different and all eyes would be on his tactical approach to the match. He too faces the dilemma of picking the right combination, will Kohli go in with five bowlers?India will start as favourites and looking at the head-to-head record, the visitors have won six out of seven Test matches. Bangladesh managed to draw one Test in Chittagong in 2007. But that is history now, Bangladesh are no more pushovers and on their day could upset any big teams like they pushed out England and entered the last stage of the World Cup.They followed it up by shocking Pakistan 3-0 in a ODI series and also drawing a Test against the same opposition. This particular performance of Bangladesh forced the Indian selectors to send their best team on the tour.  Bangladesh too have reasons to play their best cricket against India with the memories fresh of that ‘No-Ball’ in the World Cup quarterfinal, which robbed them off a fair chance for a win. However, Indian skipper Kohli in refence to that incident said that both teams have moved on.The Bangladesh bowling attack led by Rubel Hossain will have their task cut out against a formidable Indian batting line-up. If the track happens to be batting-friendly, India have the batsmen to post a big total. KL Rahul missing out due to illness is Shikhar Dhawan’s gain as the left-hander gets another chance to reclaim his opening spot after he was dropped in Sydney due to poor form. But after that Dhawan managed to bounce back with good outings at the World Cup and IPL.advertisementDhawan found it tough to handle the swing in England and Australia, but in sub-continent like conditions he should be more at home opening the innings. On the other hand, Murali Vijay after a brilliant England and Australia series would be looking for a big score. Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma should be automatic choice, unless Kohli decides to attack with five bowlers.However, all eyes would be on Pujara who has returned from England after a successful county stint with Yorkshire and needs to be seen if he has corrected his technical flaws. Rohit’s one-day credentials are better than Tests but he would be a confident player after a successfull World Cup and leading his IPL team Mumbai Indians to glory.The spotlight will also be on comeback man Harbhajan Singh making his return to the national side after two years. India are most likely to pick him up along with R Ashwin looking at five to six left-handers in their line-up. Kohli might find it tough while deciding on the fast bowlers and going by his liking for more pace, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron are most likely to find their names in the playing XI.For Bangladesh, Rubel Hossain’s comeback is good positive news but an injured Sahadat Hossain a matter of concern for the hosts. There are chances of Mushfiqur Rahim being relieved of wicketkeeping duties due to an injury to his finger during a training session, Litton Das may don the gloves. But the onus will be on senior players like Tamim Iqbal, Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan to lead the team by example against a tough and rather young Indian team.Teams (from):India: Virat Kohli (captain), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Harbhajan Singh, Ravichandran Ashwin, Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Karn Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar.Bangladesh: Mushfiqur Rahim (captain), Tamim Iqbal, Abul Hasan, Imrul Kayes, Jubair Hossain, Litton Das, Mohammad Shahid, Mominul Haque, Nasir Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Shakib Al Hasan, Shuvagata Hom, Soumya Sarkar, Taijul Islam, Mahmudullah.last_img

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