Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)-Bangladesh’s rise in One-Day Internationals (ODIs) has been phenomenal.
Not only did they make it to the quarter-final of ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, they also completed a whitewash over Pakistan at home in the recently-concluded bilateral series, reports CricketCountry.
While that is commendable, the CricketCountry writer Pramod Ananth feels that they still have a long way to go before they are a force to reckon with in Tests and they have no chance of beating India in the one-off series.
Bangladesh are being led by a vibrant captain in Mushfiqur Rahim.
The recently-concluded two-Test series against Pakistan completely exposed Bangladesh’s weakness, which lies in their bowling.
Their inability to pick up 20 wickets in either match gave them no chance of winning the game.
It is not that their bowlers lack talent, but they must also apply themselves on the field and have sufficient levels of fitness to carry themselves for the entire five days.
Fast bowler Shahdat Hossain bowled only two deliveries in the entire match against Pakistan in the second Test at Dhaka and walked out of the field after he injured himself and now faces a long lay-off.
That cost Bangladesh, and they eventually went on to lose the series.
Bangladesh were at their dominating best in a three-Test home series against Zimbabwe in October 2014.
They completed a clean sweep and one got the feeling that they have made giant strides in the longest format as well.
Bangladesh were shown their place when they took on an experienced Pakistan side in the next series. They never looked like winning either Test.
They somehow managed to save the first Test due to some excellent batting from Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes at the top. If it was not for those two, Bangladesh could have quite easily lost that match too. Bangladesh lost the second Test by 328 runs.
India too have not had the best of times in Tests lately. They suffered a 2-0 loss in the four-Test series against Australia Down Under.
They, however, showed great spirit during the end of that series and after losing the first two Tests came back strongly in the remaining games, but could not pull off a win.
India are going in with a full strength squad against Bangladesh this time.
There were speculations that some of the big guns might want some rest after having a long season. But the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) decided to name a full-strength squad.
This will surely give Virat Kohli a golden opportunity to register his first win as captain.
The Indian batting line-up consisting of Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, and Cheteshwar Pujara is sure to cause panic among any bowling attack. Added to this India have recalled Harbhajan Singh into their squad. Harbhajan, especially in sub continental conditions, is sure to be a handful.
Harbhajan is making a comeback into the Indian side having played his last Test in 2013. Talking about comebacks, Bangladesh fast bowler Mashrafe Mortaza could also find a place in the Bangladesh squad.
Mortaza has not played in Tests for six years and the Bangladesh selectors might decide to give Mortaza a go. According to certain reports, this probably will be a farewell Test for Mortaza.
His injury problems kept him out of the squad for many years. Bangladesh have risen to new heights in Tests since then and they will do just fine without him in the future as well.
India have won six of their seven matches they have played against Bangladesh, all in convincing fashion.
They surely have the psychological edge. But the teams have not played each other since 2010. There have been vast changes in both sides since then.
Looking at the two teams, at least on paper, India should easily sail through.
They have a good combination with both bat and ball. Bangladesh will be lucky if the match even goes to the final day.
Having said that, India must not get complacent; Bangladesh’s bowlers comprising of Mohammad Shahid and Taijul Islam did reasonably well against Pakistan and will go into the match against India with more hunger.
But do they and the other bowlers have the ability to take 20 Indian wickets? It is possible, but highly doubtful.