The second Test will mark a historic occasion in Indian cricket as the first-ever day-night Test will be played here. This will also be the first time that the two teams will play with the pink ball at the international level.
As for the record between the two teams, India has won eight out of ten Tests between the neighbours while the other two have ended in a draw. Bangladesh have lost both the Tests they have played in India so far.
Weather and Ground Details
The weather in Kolkata is expected to be dry on all five and the final act of the series should be played without any interruptions. However, given that a full session will be played under lights, dew will play a major factor in the game, making it tougher for the spinners in the night sessions.
Coming to the surface, the track at the Eden Gardens has been a fast bowler’s paradise since 2016. The first of the two Tests here since saw the highest total of only 316 that India put up against New Zealand in the first innings and ultimately won the match by bundling the Kiwi’s for 197 in the last innings. The second Test here in this time period was a rain-affected encounter between India and Sri Lanka that had India folded for 172 on a green top. The Indian pacers raged havoc on the last day to reduce Sri Lanka to 75/7 before the play was called off on the fifth day.
As mentioned earlier, the pacers have dominated the spinners in the two Tests played at this venue since 2016. Pacers have picked 58 wickets at 41 balls per wicket, as compared to 17 wickets by spinners at 62.4 balls per wicket.
Looking at the Indian side, since 2018, the pacers, in particular, have been dominant even in the home Tests. Though Ravichandran Ashwin has carried the baton for spinners, pacers overall have taken more wickets per match.
Mohammed Shami is breathing fire for some time now. In the best phase of his career, Shami has been one of the best fast bowlers in the world in recent times. He has picked up 78 wickets in 37 innings at 43 balls per wickets since 2018. His record in the second innings is one of the best in the world where he has 48 wickets to his name at just 31.1 balls per wicket. A recent entry to Top-10 bowlers as per ICC rankings is sure to push him further.
Our first x-factor is the Indian opener Mayank Agarwal. Mayank has started his Test career with a purple patch. In just eight Tests he has already scored three tons of which two have been double hundreds. His current averages of 71.5 shout out about his form in this period. Being the opener of the side provides an opportunity for him to score big runs and for you to score fantasy points.
Our second X-factor is Bangladesh’s pacer Abu Jayed. With 15 wickets in 8 innings in his career, Jayed was the only bowler that threatened the Indian batsmen in the first match. If only for a better fielding effort, he would have added more to his four-wicket haul in the Test. Given the conditions expected to favour the pacers in the second Test, Jayed should be a sure pick in your fantasy side.
Our third X-factor is Cheteshwar Pujara. One of the most consistent batsmen in the Indian team, Pujara has scored more than a thousand runs since 2018 at an impressive average of 40.3. With patience has his key attributes, his habit of putting a price to his wicket will be valuable in the day-night Test that will assist the pacers. He is also among the very few Indian batsmen with some experience with the pink ball at the first-class level. In the Duleep Trophy final of 2016 played with the pink ball, Pujara smashed 256* to win the game for India Blue.
Suggested Fantasy XI
Liton Das (wk), Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Abu Jayed, Mohammed Shami ©