India vs Bangladesh, 2nd Test Preview: Hosts look to continue their dominance at the Eden Gardens in the historic D/N Test
The pink ball does a lot more than the red ball, making things even more difficult for Bangladesh.
Updated - Feb 17, 2020 2:01 pm
India seem unstoppable in Tests off late. Everything they do is working. Many problems, the most prominent among them being the solution to their opening woes seem to have been resolved for the time being with some superlative batting performances from Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal.
Everyone is eagerly looking forward to the first Day/Night Test to be played at the ‘Mecca of Indian cricket’ Eden Gardens, Kolkata. With Virat Kohli and the team management’s unwillingness to play a D/N Test finally ending, it is indeed exciting times for Indian cricket. The occasion is huge in times where the existence of the longest form of the game has been questioned owing to the dwindling crowds in stadiums to witness Test matches.
A lot of experts and former cricketers have praised India’s decision to play a D/N Test. The pink ball brings with it a lot of challenges and thrills- both for the players involved and the fans. The demand and craze to witness history unfold has resulted in sold-out crowds for the first four days.
There is nothing India would need to change looking at their current form. Everything is falling into place beautifully. The biggest positive for India has to be how their seam trio of Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma have been dominating the opposition batsmen.
India’s fast bowlers would want to continue in the same vein with the pink ball too. The pink ball does a lot more than the red ball, making things even more difficult for Bangladesh. If anything has to improve from an Indian perspective it definitely has to be their slip catching which was well below par at Indore. The challenge of playing under lights with the pink ball would make things more complicated. Kohli might bring in an extra batsman in Vihari in place of Ravi Ashwin.
India’s Probable Playing XI: Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(C), Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Hanuma Vihari, Wridhiman Saha(wk), Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma.
After a humiliating defeat against India in the two-match Test series opener in Indore on Saturday, where hosts trounced them by an innings and 130 runs, Mominul Haque, skipper of Bangladesh felt that it’s high time to put all emphasis on forming format-based cricketers.
In the current Bangladesh set-up, apart from Mominul, there aren’t any other cricketers who are Test specialists, though there are a few in this squad who are regulars in Tests but also play in the shorter formats.
New coach Russel Domingo had, therefore, put a lot of emphasis on the fact that he needs to sit with the captain to separate players for different formats as he had seen there are some cricketers more inclined to play the two shorter formats than Test cricket. The coach makes a valid point as Bangladesh was rather flat and lacked intent against India in Indore.
What was surprising was the fact that their best batsmen Mushfiqur Rahim and Liton Das were batting way down the order. It’s high they earmark specific positions for players with enormous skill and experience and stick to that. Without the likes of Tamim Iqbal and Shakib-Al-Hasan in the team, it’s a daunting task to expect them to give India a fight in the D/N Test.
Bangladesh would want to beef up their batting by including Imrul Kayes and probably Mozadek Hossein. Apart from Abu Jayed, no one seemed like getting a wicket at Indore. So getting in the quick Al-Amin Hossain may prove to be beneficial for the visitors.
Bangladesh’s Probable Playing XI: Shadman Islam, Imrul Kayes, Mohammad Mithun, Monimul Haque, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Das, Mehidy Hasan, Al-Amin Hossain, Abu Jayed, Ebadat Hossain/Taijul Islam.
Focus will be on
Mohammed Shami (India)
Mohammed Shami has been on a roll in 2019. His transformation in Test cricket this year has been phenomenal to witness. Among the most improved bowlers in world cricket, Shami or ‘Second innings Shami’ as he’s been called for his destructive abilities in the second innings would relish the opportunity to use the pink ball for the first time.
Everyone would be looking forward to seeing how much swing and movement Shami can generate at the Eden Gardens under lights. He grabbed seven wickets at Indore and would want to improve on his tally at Kolkata.
Mushfiqur Rahim (Bangladesh)
Bangladesh’s best batsman currently by a long-distance is Mushfiqur Rahim. The former captain has now relinquished the wicket-keeping gloves to completely focus on his batting. He looked by far the most compact and technically sound batsman for Bangladesh at Indore amidst the chaos around him.
Most definitely, the visitors would want their batting mainstay to put on a good show at the iconic Eden Gardens, Kolkata. But he can’t do it by himself, he would need established players like Liton Das, Imrul Kayes and Mahmudullah to step up and deliver.
TV- Star Sports 1/3, Star Sports 1/3 HD
Streaming- Hot Star
Timings- 1:00 PM IST