After a closely fought T20I series, India and Bangladesh will don whites to contest a two-match Test series.
The hosts, the top ranked team in this format, have named a full strength squad while the visitors are without the services of a couple of experienced players in Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal.
Mominul Haque, a dependable middle-order batsman, is the captain of the team in the series and he promises to lead aggressively in India.
India are undefeated in the Test Championship while the Tigers begin their campaign in this series.
With the first Test to be played at Indore on Wednesday and the second Test at Kolkata under lights on November 22, here are the key player battles expected in this series.
Mustafizur Rahman vs Rohit Sharma
The left-arm pacer has been in terrible form in all formats and bowling to an in-form Rohit Sharma is the worst proposition for any bowler.
When Mustafizur Rahman burst onto the scene, he was able to constantly trouble the batsman with his cutters. Bowling over the wicket, ‘The Fizz’ can take the ball away from the right-handed batsmen with the angle and could be a handful when the pitch starts deteriorating.
Bangladesh need their main pacer to fire against openers Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma who have scored five centuries between them in the past four innings.
Liton Das vs Mohammed Shami
Mohammad Shami is the only bowler to take 3 five-wicket hauls in team's second innings since 2018.— Bharath Seervi (@SeerviBharath) October 6, 2019
v SA, J'burg
v Aus, Perth
v SA, Vizag#IndvSA
Mohammed Shami is India’s best strike bowler among pacers in the longest format. The seamer has 24 wickets this season and is devastating with the new ball in the second innings of a Test match.
Liton Das, Bangladesh’s inconsistent yet talented top-order batsman struggles against the delivery which tails into the right-hander.
He has been dismissed 11 times in his past 13 innings by a pacer and on most occasions he has been trapped LBW or caught on the leg-side. Shami’s stock delivery is the one the swings back in late at pace, targeting the stumps. Das needs to sort out his technique soon or he might hear the death rattle of the stumps quite a few this series.
Mushfiqur Rahim vs R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja
In the absence of Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim becomes the fulcrum of the batting unit. He would be up against the best pair of Test spinners in the world currently in Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
With very few experienced players around, the onus is on Mushfiqur to blunt the Indian bowlers and lead the way for his younger colleagues.
Ashwin and Jadeja shared 28 wickets in the recently concluded Test series against South Africa and will be raring to have a go at Bangladesh in the two-match Test series.
Taijul Islam and Mehedi Hasan Miraz vs Virat Kohli
Just like their opponents, the leading wicket-takers in Tests for Bangladesh in the past two years has been a pair of spinners – a left-arm spinner and an off-spinner to boot.
Both Taijul Islam and young Mehedi Hasan have a career average of under 32 and need to bowl tight lengths to try and stop the best batsman in the world.
The Indian skipper who opted to miss the T20I series was in his element in the previous Test series at home against the Proteas, reaching his career best score at Pune.
During the series, it was a left-arm spinner in Seenuran Muthusamy who managed to dismiss Kohli twice in the series, although on one occasion the spinner did overstep and the decision was overturned.
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