BAN vs IND 2022-23, 2nd Test: India to go for the kill as WTC battle heats up
Stand-in skipper K L Rahul would be eager to overcome his lean patch as India is expected to go for the kill in the second Test against Bangladesh, beginning in Mirpur on Thursday, to strengthen their position in the World Test Championship.
As India is anticipated to go for the kill in the second Test against Bangladesh, beginning in Mirpur on Thursday, to strengthen their position in the World Test Championship, stand-in skipper K L Rahul would be eager to get over his rough patch.
The battle for the top two slots in the WTC standings has heated up as India (55.77 PCT) has moved into second place after South Africa (54.55 PCT) suffered a crushing defeat to Australia (76.92 PCT) in the two-day Gabba Test.
The upcoming home series will decide India's quest for a second consecutive WTC final against Australia, but they also can't afford any mistakes against Bangladesh, who put up a fight in the first Test after a weak first inning with the bat.
There won't be any alterations to the Indian starting eleven because regular captain Rohit Sharma still hasn't fully recovered from his thumb injury. For players like Shubman Gill and Kuldeep Yadav, the first Test offered a golden opportunity, and they made the most of it. It would have been very difficult to drop Gill after his first Test hundred in Chattogram had Rohit been available for the match.
However, that situation did not arise, and Gill will be keen to cash in on another opportunity. Rahul, too would look to lead from the front after the disappointment of his two innings in the first Test. Like Chattogram, the pitch is expected to be slow and decent for batting, providing Rahul with an ideal platform to get runs under his belt before the Australia series.
With a 90 and an uncharacteristically aggressive 102 not out in the first game of the series, Cheteshwar Pujara, who made a comeback with the one-off Test in England, has solidified his spot at number three. Being aggressive with his shots was encouraging because India needed to pick up the pace in the second innings.
Additionally, conditions will be favourable for Virat Kohli to record his first century in a Test since November 2019. It still needs to be determined whether India's aggressive batting style in the second innings was a matter of necessity or a foreshadowing of things to come. India scored more than four runs per over.
Given the circumstances, bowlers, whether pacers or slower bowlers, would once more try to attack the stumps. Kuldeep displayed his talent with a match haul of eight wickets in his first Test match since February last year.
The left-arm wrist spinner was significantly under-bowled in the second innings compared to the lead spinners R Ashwin and Axar Patel, but he still managed to claim three wickets.
In conditions that were favourable for spin, Ashwin only managed to take one wicket; he will be attempting to make up for it today.
With four strikes in the second inning and the batters battling against his quick left-arm spin, Axar demonstrated his value to the squad.
Bangladesh will also be optimistic about their chances, especially after the way they batted on day four. Zakir Hasan, a rookie opener, has proven he belongs at this level. Senior batsmen like Litton Das and Mushfiqur Rahim will want to improve on their past errors and score large hundreds.
Due to an injury to team captain Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh called up left-arm spinner Nasum Ahmed for the second innings. On Thursday, Nasum is most likely to play his first Test match. Additionally, former captain Mominul Haque might play.
"He'd be the first to admit that in last year he hasn't got the runs. But he is too good a player to not have around. You cannot lose a player of Mominul's quality. He will definitely be considered for the second Test," said head coach Russell Domingo.
Bangladesh: Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mominul Haque, Yasir Ali, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan (c), Litton Das, Nurul Hasan, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taijul Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Khaled Ahmed, Zakir Hasan, Rejaur Rahman Raja.
India: KL Rahul (C), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara (VC), Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (WK), KS Bharat (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Mohd. Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Saurabh Kumar, Jaydev Unadkat.
Match starts at 9 am IST
(With inputs from PTI)