India favourites to down Bangladesh
India have won each of their first five Tests in the World Test Championship so far
After thumping South Africa in the three-Test series, India will aim to maintain their supremacy in ongoing World Test Championship and extend their lead when they take on Bangladesh in the first Test of the two-match series beginning on Thursday at the Holkar Stadium here.
India have won each of their first five Tests in the World Test Championship so far and have played according to their No 1 ranking in the red-ball cricket. They sit pretty at the top of the points table with 240 points.
The two Tests against the ninth-ranked Bangladesh team will provide yet another opportunity for the new opening combination of Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal to establish themselves further. The duo aggregated 829 runs between them in three Tests against the Proteas last month.
Skipper Virat Kohli, who is back with the team after taking a brief break from cricket, remains the biggest threat for the visitors. Kohli had scored a double ton against Faf du Plessis' men last month and will look to cash-in on the innings he would be playing against the Bangla Tigers.
Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara too are in good form and thus it would be an uphill task for Bangladeshi bowlers to put pressure on the Indian batters. The hosts are likely to persist with Wriddhiman Saha over Rishabh Pant with the wicket-keeping duties.
For Bangladesh, who will be without the services of their experienced duo of Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal, the two Test matches will provide an opportunity to test the young players.
The visitors, who came out with a remarkable performance in the T20I series, would seek inspiration from their new skipper Mominul Haque, who was their standout batsman last year, with 673 runs from 15 innings, including four hundreds.
A huge amount of responsibility would lie on the shoulders of Mushfiqur Rahim who is one of the senior members of the team and would act as glue for the batsman.
The pitch is expected to offer significant assistance to the slower bowlers as the game progresses and thus first innings would hold the key for both the teams.
India: Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Jadeja, R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant.
Bangladesh: Mominul Haque (C), Al-Amin Hossain, Imrul Kayes, Shadman Islam, Saif Hassan, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Mehedy Hasan, Liton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Mithun, Taijul Islam, Nayeem Hasam, Mustafizur Rahman, Ebadat Hossain
India v Bangladesh
1st Test (at Indore)
8am (UAE Time)
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