Many will unwind nostalgic memories as Virat Kohli and Mominul Haq would walk in the cricket Coliseum Eden Gardens Kolkata for toss of historic first ever day night cricket test in the subcontinent.
King of Kolkata one of most successful Indian Cricket Captain new BCCI President has arranged to bring together the political dignitaries and sports personalities including the proud members of the first ever test match between Bangladesh and India. Saurav himself led team India. Naimur Rahman Durjoy captain of Bangladesh team is a member of Bangladesh parliament, Aminul Islam Bulbul the unsung hero of Bangladesh and milestone creator of the very first test is now ICC development officer busy in his assignments in UAE and China. We are not sure what type of contest between two vastly mismatched teams would create. But the occasion would definitely bring back bitter sweet memories for many.
Surprising many Bangladesh went on scoring 400 in its very first test in the first innings against mighty Indians. Bangladesh Icon Aminul Islam Bulbul entered into the elite club of cricketers scoring 145 in the very first innings of the first test for his country. Only Charles Bannerman of Australia scored more in the test debut in the first test ever played. Habibul Bashar Sumon now a selector of BCB scored a half century. Bangladesh went on taking first innings lead as Captain Naeemur Rahman Durjoy took 5 wickets. These were all milestones. Bangladesh as expected for lack of experience, capitulated in the second innings and lost the test easily. On November 22, when the players of the then teams meet at Eden Gardens after lapse of 19 years adrenaline would definitely flow through. Hope the match organizers, grounds men and officials are also invited.
Last time in July when this writer visited Eden Garden it looked gorgeous in the evening. Believe BCCI will make it heavenly on the occasion of the historic test. We have learned that all tickets for the first three days are sold out. For the first time 11 Bangla speaking Bangladesh team would play at Eden Gardens Kolkata in front of mostly Bangla speaking cricket admirers against the top ranked Indian Cricket team having only Wriddhiman Saha speaking Bangla of the home team. Can Bangladesh draw some support of the audience?
India is now a very strong test team arguably the best in the world. India traditionally produced classic batsmen and crafty spinners. But this team possesses not only the best batting and spinning unit but also some of the top pace bowlers doing magic with the new ball. Bangladesh on the other hand for many reasons ranging from very disorganized domestic cricket facility is still languishing at the bottom of ICC ranking in test.
Hope the huge defeat by an innings and 130 runs at Indore has given Bangladesh some lessons. Playing against Indian bowling now is now a strong challenge for any team specially in Indian condition. Moreover, playing day night cricket with original pink ball may turn out more challenging. Bangladesh has to play out of skins to create any contest.
Well to contain Indian batting Bangladesh must appear with three new ball bowlers. Abu Jayed Rahi was excellent at Indore. Two experienced pacers Mustafiz and al Amin must join him. These three may trouble even the strong Indian batting line up if wicket assist the pacers. Bangladesh may appear with one less batsman and retain Taijul in the team. If ball bounce and skid it will also assist spinners at some stage. As far as batting is concerned Liton should open and young Saif Hasan may be inducted. Mominul should bat well at three as a long innings is expected from him for a while. Mushfique must bat at four and Mahmudullah at five. Mithun can bat at six. A longer innings is expected from Mehedy Miraj. He should enjoy bowling at Eden gardens as well. Tajul, Al Amin, Jayed and Mustafiz would make the team. We think not playing Al Amin and Mustafiz at Indore was a mistake. Hope Bangladesh think tank would field horses for the courses.
No one would expect a major turn around from Bangladesh. All are aware of the strength of Indian team and their superiority in test cricket now. But Bangladesh must not die wondering and play with never say die attitude. Let the first appearance of Team Tigers at Eden Gardens make Bangladesh proud with performance.
BDST: 1733 HRS, NOV 20, 2019