HYDERABAD: India will play host to Bangladesh for the first time in a bilateral match when the two square-off in a test match at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Thursday (tomorrow).
India has been the only full member nation not to have hosted Bangladesh ever since the issuance of the Future Tour Programme (FTP) by the ICC in 2001. The FTP assures that all full members have to play at least two bilateral series (one at home and the other away) over the course of 10 years. India has, however, mostly ignored the FTP and Bangladesh will finally get their shot in India after a long wait of 15 years.
The main obstacle in front of Bangladesh will be to carry the recent vigour they have shown in the limited overs format to the test arena, while India will be looking to continue dominating at home. Bangladesh has shown some fight in recent matches away from home in the longest format, by both scoring big totals in New Zealand and taking 20 wickets in England, but will he hoping not to repeat their mistakes and choke at crucial moments in the game as they have tended to do in recent series.
The test match should be a good opportunity for Bangladesh to prove their mettle after having long been denied such an opportunity in India devoid of tournament pressure.
India on the other hand find themselves in the privileged position of having too many batsmen to choose from and are likely to play Ajinkay Rahane in place of triple-centurion Karun Nair.