India aims to conquer Bangladesh & remain ahead in WTC
India and Bangladesh both teams have shifted their focus from the shortest format to the longest format of the game. The action will begin with the red cherry from Thursday at Indore. Traditional cricket is the most challenging job for the players on the field. Cricketers need a surgeon’s like concentration to perform in a five-day game. Playing Test cricket is a daunting task, which unveils a player’s real talent, temperament, and patience.
Focus on pink ball cricket
T20I series victory against the visiting side must have raised the tempo of the host nation in the upcoming test series against the same opponent starting from November 14. The main focus is firmly on the pink ball cricket as India will write a new history, hosting its first-ever Day-Night Test match, which is the second match of the series starting on November 22, at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
India, a dominating force
Beating India on its turf is like a dream for any visiting side. At present, the world’s number one team is not only dominating, but they are also bossing in Test cricket. The reality is that India built this fortress brick by brick after the workout of players from generation to generation. Therefore 11 consecutive series victory in its backyard tells their perfect story of success. Last time India lost a series at home was against England in 2012. Since then all the top teams have crumbled when visiting India. In the last five years, India won 20 out of 26 Tests, with the winning percentage is 77, way ahead of Australia (63), England (61.7) and South Africa (66).
Teams do little in India
Following a marathon four-hour practice session, Bangladesh batsman Mohammad Mithun said: “Top teams from around the world have come here (to India) and could do little. That says a lot about India’s strength at home. Even then I believe if we play well as a unit, try and dominate as many sessions as we can, we can put India under pressure.
India is replete with talent in all departments of the game. There is no iota of weakness in the star-studded home team. Indian bowlers don’t provide much chance to the opponents to settle down and score runs heavily. The pace battery is not far behind the actual strength pillars that are the spinners. In the last series against South Africa, the absence of Jaspreet Bumrah didn’t affect the team’s performance. Strong bench strength makes this team unique and different from others.
Rahane praises pacers
Credit should go to all fast bowlers not just a couple of bowlers. Physio of the team has done a commendable job over the fitness of all the fast bowlers. Vice-captain of the team Ajinkya Rahane appreciating the Indian pace bowlers said it was heartening to see how the pace battery-operated against South Africa. I thought it started with Australia, but what I saw in the last series against South Africa was clinical performance.
Kohli’s return in Test cricket
With the return of Kohli in test cricket, Indian batting is looking perfect, which is almost impossible for the Bangladeshi bowlers to dislodge. Although the visiting side has improved a lot, they fought well in the recently concluded T20I series, defeated the host first time in this format in Delhi. The absence of star players like Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal has already created a vacuum in the team. In spite of minnows, the fighting spirit of Bangladesh’s squad till the end may tighten the screw of India in the series.
The second game of the series is a Day-Night fixture, keeping that in mind some of the Indian players, who did not participate in the T20I series, utilized their valuable time to prepare themselves for the pink ball cricket. Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Mayank Agarwal, Mohammed Shami, and Ravindra Jadeja turned to National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru and practiced with the pink ball under the vigil eyes of NCA Head ‘The Wall’, Rahul Dravid. “We had two good practice sessions, actually four but two with the pink ball – one during the day and one under lights. It was exciting,” Rahane said ahead of the first Test.
India leads in WTC
India has a terrific record in the World Test Championships with five test victories out of five in two series and accumulating a maximum of 240 points. India whitewashed the West Indies and South Africa and is now far ahead of other countries. India starts as a favorite, to pick up another full 120 points in the two-game against Bangladesh. Unstoppable India has a great opportunity to play final in the World Test Championship to be held in England in 2021at Lord’s
At the outset, it looks India-Bangladesh series will be one-sided. All odds are in favor of the host nation. How can the neighboring country fight in both Tests? If ‘young guns’ of Bangladesh stretch this Indian squad to the fifth day, then it would be an incredible performance for the visitors, which looks unlikely at the moment. This series seems to be another cakewalk for India.