India should avoid complacency vs Bangladesh

Cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties. When India takes on Bangladesh in the one off Test starting on the 9th of February, they will start as firm favourites. However, Bangladesh is a much improved side in Test cricket and India should not underestimate them. On paper, India is a far superior side to Bangladesh and if they play to potential they should win comfortably.

In the recently concluded Test series against England, the pitches were good batting wickets which aided the spinners as the game progressed. In the previous season, India produced rank turners to get the better of South Africa. They will be well advised to guard against doing the same in Hyderabad. On good batting wickets, India are a much better side than Bangladesh if the teams are compared man for man. If India produce a rank turner, it could back fire on them as the quality of spinners in the Bangladesh team are much better than those in the England side that just toured India.

Moreover, the quality of India's pacers is better than that of their counterparts from Bangladesh and on good batting wickets; they will get more out of the pitch than their opponents. A lot will depend on the pitch that the curator produces for the contest.

In the recent series against England, Bangladesh drew the Test series 1-1. With a little bit of luck, they could have triumphed 2-0 in the series. In the 1st Test of the series, they lost by just 22 runs at Chittagong and won the 2nd Test at Mirpur they won by 108 runs. In the 1st Test which Bangladesh narrowly lost, their 19 year old debutant off-spinner, Mehedi Hasan Miraz, claimed 6 wickets in the first innings. In the 2nd Test, Miraz took 12 wickets and England lost all 10 wickets in their 2nd innings in a single session. This doesn't happen often in Test cricket. Bangladesh also has one of the finest left arm spinners in Shakib Al Hasan and therefore it will not be prudent for India to prepare a turning track.

In their next series against New Zealand, Bangladesh scored 595 in their first innings of the first Test in Wellington and even though they eventually lost the match by 7 wickets, they showed that they are capable of performing on the big stage and posting huge totals with the bat. Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim both scored centuries and both will be key with the bat. Their weakness is their inability to sustain a high level for all 5 days in a Test and if they can do that they can certainly compete against any opposition. They have selected a full strength side for the tour of India, apart from Mustafizur Rahman who is injured.

Cricket is a game of confidence and a loss against Bangladesh could dent India's morale before they take on the Aussies. Therefore, they will be well advised not to take their opposition lightly, but give them respect as they are a much improved side.


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