India look to consolidate WTC lead against Bangladesh in first Test - GulfToday

India look to consolidate WTC lead against Bangladesh in first Test

India look to consolidate WTC lead against Bangladesh in first Test

Bangladesh’s cricketers warm up during a training session ahead of the first Test against India at Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore on Thursday. Reuters

A clinical India will look to maintain their dominance in the World Test Championship with victory over Bangladesh in the first Test, having routed South Africa in the previous series on Thursday.

India have lived up to the billing of being the world champions, as they sit nicely on the top of the table with 240 points after winning all their five Tests in the World Championship.

The two-Test series will again provide the opening duo of Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal to consolidate their position as openers, after having accumulated 829 runs together against South Africa in the preceding series.

Skipper Virat Kohli, who is back with the team after taking a brief break from cricket, will once again will be the biggest challenge for the tourists, who are eight rank down to their opponents and currently sit at number nine.

Kohli had scored a double century against South Africa and will look to carry on the same momentum against Bangladesh.

Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara too are in good form and thus it would be an uphill task for Bangladeshi bowlers to put pressure on the Indian batters. The hosts are likely to persist with Wriddhiman Saha over Rishabh Pant with the wicket-keeping duties.

For Bangladesh, who will be without the services of their experienced duo of Shakib al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal, the two Test matches will provide an opportunity to test the young players.

The visitors, who came out with a remarkable performance in the T20I series, would seek inspiration from their new skipper Mominul Haque, who was their standout batsman last year, with 673 runs from 15 innings, including four hundreds.

A huge amount of responsibility would lie on the shoulders of Mushfiqur Rahim who is one of the senior members of the team and would act as glue for the batsman. The pitch is expected to offer significant assistance to the slower bowlers as the game progresses and thus first innings would hold the key for both the teams.

Meanwhile, Kohli on Wednesday lauded Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell’s courage to take a break from cricket because of mental health issues and said international players should be looked after.

Maxwell, one of the world’s best batsman in the shortest format, left Australia’s Twenty20 squad last month during a series against touring Sri Lanka.

The move by the 31-year-old Maxwell was backed by his team and support staff with Cricket Australia saying he was a “special player” and they hoped to see him back in the summer.

Kohli praised Maxwell for putting his health before the game.

“I am absolutely for it,” Kohli said ahead of India’s first Test against Bangladesh in Indore starting Thursday.


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