India’s stand-in captain KL Rahul opted to bat first after winning the toss against Bangladesh at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in the first test of the two-match series.
The series is essential for the men in blue who are eyeing a place in the World Test Championship final. They have their task cut out a bit with only four teams in contention for the spot. With only six Tests left in this season, India needs to win in Bangladesh if it hopes to go to the World Test Championship final in June at The Oval. The team is placed in fourth place in the World Test Championship standings.
India will go into the match without some of its regular players. Rahul will serve as skipper in place of the injured Rohit Sharma (finger), and other seasoned players Jasprit Bumrah (back injury), Mohammad Shami (shoulder injury), and Ravindra Jadeja (knee injury) will also be out of action.
“We’ll bat first. Looks like a good wicket, put runs on the board and hope that the wicket breaks, use the foot-marks later on and try and see if we can take 20 wickets. There have been a few injuries, obviously, we miss our captain Rohit and a few others but that gives opportunities to other guys. Everyone’s played a little bit of cricket and they’ll be excited to take on this challenge and contribute to the team. Kuldeep plays, there are 3 spinners – Axar, Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav – and two medium pacers – Mohammed Siraj and Umesh Yadav,” said KL Rahul after winning the toss.
We would have batted first. Looks to me like a good wicket but history says that more wickets fall on the first day than on the last day. Hopefully, we can get some early wickets and put pressure on India. We’re playing a Test match after 5 months, that’s a big gap but we’ve prepared well and hopefully, we can put on a good show. This is an important series hopefully we can put some (WTC) points on the board. We’ve got two seamers, three spinners and seven batsmen,” said Shakib Al Hasan during the toss.
India (Playing XI): Shubman Gill, KL Rahul(c), Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant(w), Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Siraj.
Bangladesh (Playing XI): Zakir Hasan, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Litton Das, Shakib Al Hasan(c), Mushfiqur Rahim, Yasir Ali, Nurul Hasan(w), Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taijul Islam, Khaled Ahmed, Ebadot Hossain.