After a comprehensive series whitewash by New Zealand in New Zealand Tigers embarked on India mission. Whatever be the series outcome the results did not reflect the true level of the contest.
Bangladesh was not absolutely outplayed in tests, ODIs or T20s. They had their moments in every match and with a little bit of luck could win a few. India, on the other hand, is in rampaging form against visiting England.
Strongest possible Bangladesh team is off to India for playing its first ever test match in India at Hyderabad from 9 February against ICC top-ranked team. India in India in test cricket is always a great force to reckon with. Moreover , this team under Virat Kohli is playing consistently well over the last several months . Visiting teams from other continents are teased and tormented failing to adjust with slow low turning tracks. Not sure Bangladesh playing in similar conditions and having some great players against spin has to worry much . At least in spinning department the teams would be evenly matched . Bangladesh young pace bowling attack has possibly better quality than India . India may have a little edge in batting with redoubtable Virat Kohli in prolific form. But Mushfique , Shakib looked in great form in the recent New Zealand tour . We do not think it will be a one-way traffic . If not overawed by the situation we can guarantee that Bangladesh would give a better account of themselves .
If India prepares spinning track Shakib, Miraj and Taijul may equally create issues for Indian batting as Jadeja – Ashwin may do. If only Mustafiz was fit to feature in the test the balance of the bowling could hang in favor of Bangladesh. If there is any assistance in the wicket for the bowlers Taskin -Rabbi – Shafiul/ Shubhashish may ask greater questions. But it has to be seen how quickly they can settle on Indian wickets after returning from pacey bouncy Kiwis wicket.
But the key would be how Bangladesh bats. Fortunately, Tamim, Shakib, and Mushfique always batted well against India in a different format of the game. Now matured Kayes, Mahmudullah and Shabbir adds depth. We are not sure whether Liton or Soumya would play. Liton would play if Mushfique can not keep wickets.Both would be useful at number seven. In New Zealand, even the tail wagged in the last test in both innings. We will like to see Miraj delivering with the bat in known subcontinental condition.
Bangladesh has to field well. We can not expect Bangladesh can remain competitive if Batsmen like Vijay, Pujara, and Kohli are given opportunities from dropped catches. Hope Bangladesh coaching staff did polishing works on fielding since return from New Zealand.
If judged from neutral viewpoint considering all pros and cons the two equally matched teams should produce a keen contest.True Bangladesh can not convert winning opportunities to win very often. India has made winning habits. But Bangladesh can not be taken for granted in any formats anymore.
It took India 17 years to reciprocate Bangladesh gesture of hosting Bangladesh in test though Bangladesh was gracious enough inviting India in its first ever test at Bangabandhu stadium when two Bangla speaking captains for the first time ever walked out for the toss. All other teams invited Bangladesh for bilateral series at least once but India did not. Bangladesh subdued Indians aspiration in World Cup once and beat them few other times in ODI series. But India did not think it commercially profitable hosting Bangladesh though it hosted weaker West Indies and Zimbabwe few times.
Let Tigers give Indian lambs a bit of a hiding.
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