India’s Predicted Playing XI for the first Test against Bangladesh
Virat Kohli will most likely try this combination for the first Test.
Team India ended up winning the competitive T20I series against Bangladesh by 2-1. And, now both teams are gearing up for the two Tests that will start from the 14th of November. The first encounter of the longer format is scheduled to take place at Holkar Stadium in Indore, followed by the next one at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
In the T20I series, the hosts went with a relatively young squad against Tigers, who were short of their senior all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan. But, Team India has picked up a strong squad for the Test series. There are chances that the Indian skipper Virat Kohli can opt for some experimentation against Bangladesh.
However, the hosts can’t expect a smooth series win against the visitors after witnessing their strong performance in the recently concluded T20I series where they started off well but couldn’t finish it on a higher note. Bangladesh team lacks experience in comparison to Kohli and Co. but they are no short of some exciting talent who will try to outclass the opposition.
Here is India’s predicted playing XI
Openers (Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma)
The opening position doesn’t need any tinkering at the moment. The duo of Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal did a commendable job in the recently concluded Test series against South Africa. On one side Rohit amassed 529 runs at a brilliant average of 132.25 whereas the young lad from Karnataka was nowhere behind and scored 340 runs at an average of 85. Also, both the players ended as the top two scorers in that series.
Middle Order (Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha (wk))
Cheteshwar Pujara’s will be a worry for the hosts but he is a tried and tested batsman, who is regarded as the Test specialist of the team. He will retain his spot at number three in this series as well.
Virat Kohli ended the Test series against South Africa with his career’s best knock of 254* unbeaten and is also making his way back into the team after taking a short break. He would be totally refreshed in order to take on the bowlers. Also, Kohli will have his eyes on the ICC Test ranking and will look to get back to the top spot.
Ajinkya Rahane, the vice-captain of Team India, ended up with an impressive average of 72 against Proteas. So until and unless he is injured, the right-handed batter can’t be left aside.
Wriddhiman Saha didn’t get as many runs as expected with his willow in the recent Test series, but a brilliant display with the gloves behind the stumps hogged the limelight on numerous occasions. He will be eager to prove his worth and score some runs for the team in order to secure his position in the team as Rishabh Pant is warming the bench.
All-rounders (Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin)
The duo of Jadeja and Ashwin has done explicitly well in the home conditions for Team India and are quite handy when it comes to their batting as well. The left-handed batter from Saurashtra smacked 212 runs in four innings and also ended as third leading wicket-taker with 13 wickets against South Africa. Also, he has the ability to play at a high strike rate when needed.
Bangladesh batters will have a tough time facing Ashwin in the longer format because of his recent form. He grabbed 15 wickets of Proteas in three Tests with one 4-Fers and one 5-Fers, and his variations are most of the times remain an unsolved puzzle for the batsmen.
The off-spinner Ashwin has also complemented runs from lower down the order when the top and middle-order have found themselves struggling after a batting collapse. He has got four tons in Tests along with 11 half-centuries in Test cricket that have always been a plus for him.
Bowlers (Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami)
Virat Kohli might go with three of his top pacers against Bangladesh on a track that gives an upper edge to the fast bowlers at Holkar Stadium in Indore. Ishant Sharma, who has revived his career by working on his seam position and variations has turned out to be the spearhead of Team India in the last one and a half years. He didn’t have a good series against South Africa, but on the back of his past performances, Ishant is expected to get his spot in the series opener.
Followed by Mohammed Shami, who is certainly the best reverse swing bowler in the country, he was at his helm against Proteas where he scalped 13 wickets with the help of his brilliant fast bowling display throughout the series.
Umesh Yadav was picked in the second Test by Kohli and he didn’t let go-off that chance. He was the key bowler in that match as well as in the last Test, where he dismantled the top order of the opposition team. Yadav was earlier, struggling with his variations but he defied South African batters with his pace and toe breaking yorkers. The same will be expected from him against the Tigers’ on the bouncy track of Indore which will be a tough task for the Bangladesh batsmen.