Dhaka: Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan won the toss and elected to bat first against India in the second and final Test of the series at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium here on Thursday.
Another victory in Dhaka will, apart from securing a Test series sweep in Bangladesh, also help India consolidate their second-place standing in the World Test Championship points table, behind toppers Australia.
Stand-in India captain K.L. Rahul revealed that left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat has replaced left-arm wrist-spinner, Kuldeep Yadav, in the playing eleven. “Hard decision on Kuldeep but we know Ashwin and Axar can find spin, and bring Jaydev in to cover all bases. Unfortunate decision for us to leave him (Kuldeep) out but it’s an opportunity for Unadkat.”
The Dhaka Test will be just the second appearance for Unadkat in the longer format for India. His only appearance so far in Tests came almost 12 years ago, in the first Test of the 2010/11 tour of South Africa in Centurion.
Interestingly, Kuldeep was Player of the Match in India’s comprehensive 188-run victory at Chattogram, where he made a career-best 40 and had a match haul of eight wickets, including a five-wicket haul in the first innings.
Rahul admitted the look of the pitch at Dhaka was a bit confusing and therefore would have batted first if he had won the toss. “There is a lot of grass. I’m not too disappointed because I have no idea what to expect from this pitch. I’ve taken advice from the experts: the coaching staff and seniors, to learn more about the pitch.”
“We have confidence from the win in our first Test, and we need to get our minds in here. It might be damp in the first session, getting early wickets would be good.”
Shakib remarked batter Mominul Haque and pacer Taskin Ahmed replaced Yasir Ali and injured Ebadot Hossain in the playing eleven.
“If we can survive in the first two hours, we should do well. In Mirpur, it’s better for batting and will help spinners later on. Fast bowlers get some help here but it is generally good for batting.”
India: K.L. Rahul (captain), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Shreyas Iyer, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jaydev Unadkat, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Siraj
Bangladesh: Najmul Hossain Shanto, Zakir Hasan, Mominul Haque, Litton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan (captain), Nurul Hasan (wicket-keeper), Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taijul Islam, Khaled Ahmed and Taskin Ahmed