Bangladesh will definitely want to look back at the week and go wow, what did we just do. Not only did they beat India 2-1, they also showed the visitors several of their vulnerability ahead of the ODI World Cup. But this is Tests, a format that requires more skill and a harmony between the team to succeed.
Does Bangladesh possess that quality and harmony, especially in the absence of their star opener Tamim Iqbal. India have their own worries, no Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah. Despite that, they will have a team and half, ready to tame the tigers in their own backyard.
Since 2020, the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium has been one of high-scoring contests, with the average first innings being 386 across 11 innings. Unlike other venues, there is a slightly weird pattern here, with the average fourth innings score being 299, higher than the third-innings total of 213.
Teams have preferred to chase at the venue, with two wins in the last three Tests. On the bowling front, spinners have a significant advantage at the venue, with 59 wickets, picking up 5.4 wickets/innings. The pacers, on the other hand, have picked up 31 wickets but have slightly better average, at 34.7.
With Bangladesh’s top-order being slightly dodgy, it would be safe to back the middle-order batters at the venue. Since 2020, the middle-order (4-7) average 50.3 at the venue and also have faced the most deliveries before dismissal (106.9).
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Stats that matter
- Indian skipper KL Rahul will be in focus, with India missing the service of well-experienced opener, Rohit Sharma. Rahul has been solid in the red-ball format, with 541 runs, and two centuries in the year, alongside his two half-centuries. Not only does he average 38.64, his quality game against both pace and spin will be extremely handy for India in such conditions.
- Since 2020, the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium has been one of high-scoring contests, with the average first innings being 386 across 11 innings, and teams have often preferred to chase at the venue, with two wins.
- If Rahul has been prolific for India, Litton Das has been a pillar to all of Bangladesh’s batting woes. Since the start of this WTC cycle, Das has scored 883 runs for the Tigers, and has been in prolific touch with five 50s and three 100s.
- Bangladesh are also bolstered by the return of Mushfiqur Rahim, who has been their second-best batter in the cycle, with 539 runs. Whenever the country have required him to be at his best, the right-hander has stepped up and left an indelible mark on the team.
Grand League Punts
- On a batting surface, backing on a spinner is always a punt that requires guts. But it might not be as complicated as it sounds, given that Ravichandran Ashwin is India’s highest wicket-taker in the cycle amongst the playing squad. Not just that, the off-spinner has been in some great red-ball form, with 29 wickets since last year, averaging just 18. So, expect him to play another vital role in India’s pursuit.
- Rishabh Pant is a match-winner. It is already a well-known fact in the red-ball format. But this tour might really be the one where he takes his game to the next level. Pant has the second-best strike-rate in the current WTC cycle, and also has a strike-rate of 117.6 against spinners, which really eliminates a lot of Bangladesh’s bowling threat.
Here are the Top 10 Criclytics Projections
India’s Predicted XI: Shubman Gill, KL Rahul (c), Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shreyas Iyer, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav/Saurabh Kumar
Bangladesh’s Predicted XI: Zakir Hasan, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Litton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan (c), Nurul Hasan (wk), Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Ebadot Hossain, Khaled Ahmed, Taijul Islam