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India vs Bangladesh test series: Before first test, the buzz is all about the second

The talk before the Indore match centres around use of pink ball in the day-night Test in Eden Gardens. This is a series in the World Test Championship calendar, in which Virat Kohli's men can steamroll the rag-tag opposition in four days. It is d...

PTI|
Nov 13, 2019, 11.57 PM IST
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BCCL
KOHLI---BCCL
India cricket team players during practice session at Holkar stadium in Indore on Wednesday.
The action begins with the red cherry but the focus is firmly on the pink ball as a formidable India looks to overpower a depleted-but-gritty Bangladesh in the first Test of a two-match series starting in Indore on Thursday. The rubber opens here but the buzz and the talk has been consistently centered on the second game in Eden gardens in Kolkata, which will be played under lights — a historic first for both the teams.

This is a series in the World Test Championship calendar, in which Virat Kohli's men can steamroll the rag-tag opposition in four days. In fact, on paper, it is difficult to imagine how Bangladesh, without Tamim Iqbal and the suspended Shakib Al Hasan, will even be able to compete in a format that has been their weak point till date. The side’s best batsman — skipper Mominul Haque —has less than 10 Test hundreds (eight). Although Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah Riyad are committed cricketers, in the longest format, they aren't exactly formidable names. Compare that to India's premier batsmen — Kohli (26 hundreds), Ajinkya Rahane (11), Cheteshwar Pujara (18). It will difficult for the Mustafizur Rahamans, Taijul Islams and Mehidy Hasan Mirajs to stop this line-up. Add to it, India's bowling unit with 800-plus scalps. Not to forget that Bangladesh, in their last Test match under Shakib's leadership, lost to Afghanistan in a one-off game.

The Indians, however, do not want to take anything for granted. “Bangladesh is a very good team. We played very well against South Africa but that's past now. With (World) Test Championship, every match is equally important. We like to take one game at a time which is Indore now,” vice-captain Rahane said.

Oli pink ball will be interesting: Kohli
The pink ball swings more than the red one but how it will behave after getting old, especially when dew will be a factor, is keeping India skipper Virat Kohli intrigued ahead of team's historic day-night Test against Bangladesh.

On the eve of the series-opener, Kohli was busy answering questions related to the second Test starting November 22. “I think it's a new way to bring excitement to Test cricket. The pink... swings a lot more as compared to the red ball because there's extra lacquer (quote of paint) on the ball which doesn't go away too fast. And the seam holds upright quite a bit,” he said. Kohli said they are yet to figure out how the old ball will behave during November evenings in Kolkata. “If the pitch has extra help for the bowlers, then they will be in the game, especially fast bowlers. I don't know how the old ball behaves because with the dew and the lacquer going off, it will be interesting to see how much the old ball does,” the skipper said.
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