Bangladesh won a mini battle at the start of their two-Test campaign against world No 1 India as the visitors won the toss in the first match in Indore on Thursday. Skipper Mominul Haque called right and had little hesitation in opting to bat first.
“It [the pitch] is a bit hard and might break in fourth innings,” Haque said at the toss.
Interestingly, Virat Kohli said he was going to opt to bowl first anyway.
The Indian team has been on a stellar run in the longest format on home soil but it hasn’t had a great record bowling first in the recent past. Since January 2018, India have lost six of the last seven Tests in which they have bowled first. In their last Test series against South Africa, India won all three matches but they had batted first on each instance.
The pitch being used at the Holkar Stadium for the first Test between India and Bangladesh had a healthy grass cover on the first morning and this prompted skipper Kohli and the team management to opt for three fast bowlers in the side.
“It has a bit of grass on it and historically Indore on day one has been a bit spicy,” Kohli said at the toss. “We wanted to bowl first but we also want batsmen to bat in tough conditions. It’s ideal for our seamers who are in top form.
“I think, from day two onwards it will be a beautiful track to bat on. We are playing two spinners as well so we have cover for the third innings. Shahbaz Nadeem is not a part of this eleven and Ishant Sharma replaces him purely on the basis of the pitch.”
Here are the playing XIs:
India: Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha (w), Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma.
Bangladesh: Imrul Kayes, Shadman Islam, Mohammad Mithun, Mominul Haque (c), Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Liton Das (w), Mehedy Hasan, Taijul Islam, Abu Jayed, Ebadat Hossain.
Read our match preview here.