CHENNAI: EVER since they were accorded Test status in 2000, Bangladesh are hardly a force to reckon with in the longest format of the game. Coincidentally, they made their Test debut against India and have played nine matches against them, losing seven. They though defeated Australia, England and Sri Lanka once during this period but a majority of their victories have come against weaker teams like West Indies (4) and Zimbabwe (6). Add to this their most recent loss against Afghanistan at home in September.
Given the problems they are facing and a depleted side they have at their disposal in absence of star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and left-hand opener Tamim Iqbal, it’s highly unlikely that the visitors can give a fight to rampaging Virat Kohli & Co at their own backyard in the upcoming two-Test series starting in Indore on November 14.
Despite all odds, Bangladesh Cricket Board’s (BCB’s) cricket operations chairman Akram Khan seems optimistic and said, “Obviously we are underdogs in the Test series. It’s going to be a tough tour as we are without services of Shakib and Tamim. India are the best Test side at the moment. But again it’s a good
opportunity for these youngsters to prove their mettle.
It’s a tough job but not an impossible one.”
Left-hand batsman Mominul Haque will lead the Test side in Shakib’s absence and the former Bangladesh player exuded confidence in his abilities. “He did well for Bangladesh A against India A and Sri Lanka A recently. He got experience and if other players do their part then he can prove to be a good leader.”
Khan also confirmed that Liton Das will keep wickets in Tests for Bangladesh and senior player Mushfiqur Rahim will play as a batsman. Speaking on day-night Test, he said, “It’s the first-ever pink ball match for both the teams so nobody holds an advantage. In fact, it’s an opportunity for Bangladesh and we would like to make full use of it.”
India have been unbeaten against Bangladesh not only in Tests but also in T20Is. They have played eight matches against the Men in Blue in the shortest format since 2009 losing all. Khan, however, said the visitors cannot be discounted as far as T20Is are concerned. “It’s (T20Is) anybody’s game. We have lost quite a few close matches against them (India) but history can be rewritten during this three-match series starting in Delhi on November 3.”