Bangladesh have never played a Test in India. That alone should turn them into a highly-motivated group of new-age players out to prove something. Overall, Bangladesh have played 8 Tests against India, including their inaugural Test match. They have lost 6 of these Tests. The other 2 were draws affected by rains.
Bangladesh have been perennial under-achievers since they took their first step in Test cricket in November 2000. However, there is something about the present bunch that makes them dangerous. They are hungry.
They made it to the 2015 World Cup Quarter Final where they gave India a real scare. They gave India another tough contest at the T20 World Cup to follow in 2016, where they lost by a single run despite being primed to win it midway through the final over. Bangladesh have taken way too long to impress on the world stage but probably 2016 changed a lot of things. Here are five reasons why India would take Bangladesh lightly at their own peril.
#1 Their coach
Bangladesh have turned a corner under Chandika Hathurusingha, their coach since 2014. Known for his tactical nous, Hathurusingha has turned the Bangladesh players into more responsible sportsmen who picked consistency over the natural flair that defined Bangladesh’s early superstars like Mohammad Ashraful and Habibul Bashar.
No stranger to India or international cricket, Hathurusingha, a former Sri Lankan batsman has been at the helm of some impressive performances including the quarter-final entry at the 2015 World Cup, runners-up finish at the 2016 Asia Cup and ODI series wins at home against India and then the mighty South Africa. The biggest of all the achievements was their victory over England, their first Test victory against any team other than Zimbabwe and West Indies.
Hathurusingha’s tactics have helped in putting pressure on India in the past encounters, albeit in the shorter formats of the game. Will he be able to come up with enough strategies to counter India’s superstars in the longest format of the game? Now, that is the big question.