The one-off Test between India and Bangladesh is all set to get underway at Fatullah on Wednesday and both the teams are sweating it out to give their best. Virat Kohli has insisted that his team will look to win matches and that makes this battle interesting. Players like Shakib Al Hasan, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Mushfiqur Rahim, Rubel Hossain and Ishant Sharma will look to set the stage on fire. Apart from the usual suspects, there are some players who could take the spotlight.
Let us take a look at the players to watch out for from both the sides:
Ever since picking up 9/81 on debut against Zimbabwe, there is no turning back for Taijul Islam. He has been one of the vital cog in wheel of the Bangladeshi Test side. He along with fellow slow left arm bowler Shakib Al Hasan is a threat to any side in the world as the duo make a deadly partnership. With India having 10 right handers out of their potential startering XI, Taijul will fancy his chances and will look to make his performance count in the one-off Test against one of the best batting side in the world.
Mominul Haque has been a consistent performer for Bangladesh in the longer format of the game which is evident by his numbers in Test cricket. 1380 runs in just 27 innings at an astonishing average of 60 makes Mominul as one of the game changer for Bangladesh against India. Adding to this, Mominul is on the verge of equalling AB de Villiers’ record of scoring fifty in 12 consecutive Tests. Even though he said that he is not thinking of the record, this will motivate Mominul to bat well and score big against India.
Tamim Iqbal has been Bangladesh’s most successful opener as he scored runs for Bangladesh consistently. He also has a great record against India in the two Tests he played against them in which he averages over 58. Tamim is on a rich vein of form after scoring two centuries and a fifty against Pakistan in the three match ODI series along with his maiden double ton in the first ton against the same opposition. He would look to continue his good work in the upcoming Test series against India too. If the Indian bowlers fail to see his back early in his innings, he would make them pay as he has the ability to score runs at a brisk pace and put the opposition under back foot straightaway.
Indian Test opener Murali Vijay has been India’s one of the two consistent performers in the last one year when the team under MS Dhoni toured South Africa, New Zealand, England and Australia. Vijay looked matured and confident as ever in all those tours. He sets the tone for the batsman to follow which helps them to carry on the good work and post a big total. Adding to that, Vijay is also a good player of spin and will be key against the Bangladeshi spinners. Vijay must be hoping to replicate his overseas success in Bangladesh too.
As mentioned above Indian Test opener Murali Vijay has been India’s one of the two consistent performers in the last one year when the team under MS Dhoni toured South Africa, New Zealand, England and Australia. The other one in the list is Ajinkya Rahane, who cemented his spot in the Test team courtesy some terrific performances against quality bowling. Rahane will be playing his second Test in the sub-continent as he didn’t even appear in a single Test in the region since making his debut against Australia in Delhi in 2013. The confident young man will look to score some big runs in familiar wickets that begins with the one-off Test against Bangladesh. He will be motivated to prove his doubters wrong who often criticized his technique against tackling spin.
Among the players from both the teams, all eyes will be on this man who is making a comeback to the Test Team after a long time. Harbhajan Singh, a veteran of 101 Tests, last played 1 way back in 2013. Since then, he was dropped from the side due to poor form. The selectors recalled him back to the side courtesy some fine performances in the IPL and in the domestic circuit. One of the main reasons behind his call up is six out of Bangladesh’s top 7 constitute left handers and it would be difficult for them to face an offie. A fine performance from him will help him cement his spot in the side. Skipper Virat Kohli won’t be worried about playing two off-spinners in the same side given that both are world class bowlers and proven match winners. Apart from his bowling, Harbhajan can contribute with the bat too.