India and Bangladesh are scheduled to play two Tests, with the first match set to be played at the Holkar Stadium in Indore.
Bangladesh will be playing under the leadership of Mominul Haque. While India are a stronger unit on paper, Bangladesh certainly aren’t to be taken lightly, if the T20 series was to be looked at.
Although India rested a few players in the T20Is, Virat Kohli and Mohammad Shami are back for the Indians, who look to maintain a perfect record in the Test format this year.
Bangladesh will still be regarded as the underdogs with their big guns, Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan not available for this Test series.
The Indian team has had a dream start to the ICC World Test Championship that has seen them sit atop of the standings after 5 games. Kohli would look to further solidify the team’s position at the top.
Bangladesh, meanwhile, would look to put some points on the board as they open their account the Test Championship against the top-ranked Indian side.
No team in past eight years has been as dominant as India while playing at home. India’s mood in red ball cricket was apparent in the last series wherein they defeated the Proteas 3-0.
Although the absence of Jasprit Bumrah would be a relief for the visitors, Indian bowling attack is by no means a lesser unit without him.
Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami, and Umesh Yadav did incredibly well against the Proteas and the trio will be difficult to deal with for the Bangladeshi batsmen as well.
Alongside a lethal pace attack, Indians have the luxury of two world-class spinners, who both can bat as well.
Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin have been fabulous for India over the last few overs and playing them in the second innings has been challenging, to say the least, even for the best in the business.
With Rohit Sharma performing brilliantly as an opener, there is hardly anything India has to worry about going into the upcoming series.
They have experienced batsmen in Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, and Virat Kohli to follow the openers, who will not be easy to get past for the Bangladesh’s bowling unit.
Bangladesh started their campaign in India pretty well, but they lost their way with back to back losses.
Over the years, Bangladesh haven’t been a force in the longest version of the game as they have been in the limited overs cricket.
On paper, they have a strong batting unit, albeit not as strong as they’d have liked with a few of their stalwarts missing.
However, lack of options with pace bowling could be a cause of concern for the visitors as picking up twenty wickets against the potent Indian batting attack would take a colossal effort.
Mominul Haque leads Bangladesh for the first time and will be eager to get the squad combination right. Shadman Islam should open the batting alongside Imrul Kayes.
The middle-order is key with Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah Riyad capable of scoring big runs against any opposition.
Liton Das will keep wickets while the spin trio of Taijul, Mehedy and Nayeem Islam should also have a say in the outcome of the game.
Cheteshwar Pujara vs Mehedi Hasan
Cheteshwar Pujara is the sought-after wicket for opposition bowlers in the Indian Test batting lineup that boasts of a certain Virat Kohli, and that speaks for itself.
The Saurashtra batsman is a mark of consistency and tenacity, and has been immense for India in home conditions.
Pujara will be itching to make a mark in the series, as good form has, for once, deserted him. He struggles against spin early on, and that is where Mehedi Hasan might be able to make a relevant contribution.
The off-spinner is a wily customer, and is capable of producing potent spin from conducive pitches, and the Indore stadium will most likely be friendly to Hasan.
Mohammed Shami vs Mushfiqur Rahim
Mohammed Shami showed his class and consistency with lethal bowling spells in the home series against South Africa.
The Indian registered brilliant figures, and with Jasprit Bumrah missing out again, Shami holds the aces even before a ball is bowled.
Mushfiqur Rahim is Bangladesh’s premier Test batsman and it is crucial that he finds form for them to have a good chance at beating a strong Indian side.
The wicketkeeper is a really smart player and is adept at grafting an innings with seemingly consummate ease.
It will be great to watch the duo lock horns against each other.
India: Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav.
Bangladesh: Imrul Kayes, Shadman Islam, Mominul Haque (C), Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Liton Das (WK), Nayeem Islam, Mehedy Hasan, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman and Al-Amin Hossain.
India have played five games in the ICC Test Championship so far and have dominated twice against West Indies and thrice against South Africa.
With a strong squad selected, it is likely that they would ease to victory against the Bangla Tigers.
Their batting should simply prove far too strong for the tourists, and the bowling unit should have no trouble dispensing off the Bangladeshi batsmen.
Team CricWizz predicts that India would come up trumps and beat Bangladesh in the first Test match.