Having taken a 1-0 lead in the two-match series, Team India will take on Bangladesh in the second Test at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur. The encounter will commence on Thursday, December 22.
India have been hit by injuries of late. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) confirmed that skipper Rohit Sharma and pacer Navdeep Saini will not be available for the second Test, while KL Rahul was struck on the hand during a net session and might not recover in time. The visitors are unlikely to make many unforced changes.
Here is India’s predicted playing XI for the second Test against Bangladesh.
Openers: KL Rahul (c), Shubman Gill
India batting coach Vikram Rathour stated that Rahul’s injury was not serious, lending weight to the claim that he will be at the toss in Mirpur. If he doesn’t recover, Abhimanyu Easwaran could make his international debut.
Shubman Gill impressed with a ton in the second innings in Chattogram, and he will want to make the opportunity count once again.
Middle order: Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk)
Cheteshwar Pujara, India’s vice-captain for the series and potentially captain for the second Test, was one of the best performers in the first contest. He notched up a patient 90 in the first innings and followed it up with a century in the second essay, breaking his drought.
Virat Kohli got to spend some time in the middle in the second innings. He will want to take a leaf out of Pujara’s book and finally notch up another Test hundred.
Shreyas Iyer chanced his luck to make a valuable contribution in Chattogram, while Rishabh Pant played his part as well. The duo will want to add some intent to the middle order.
All-rounders: Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel
Surprisingly, Ravichandran Ashwin wasn’t too involved with the ball in the first Test as he looked slightly out of rhythm and scalped just one wicket across the two innings. The veteran spinner will want to get in on the action in Mirpur.
Axar Patel, on the other hand, came into his own in the second innings with an excellent display of control. The left-arm spinner will be a handful to deal with in the second Test.
Saurabh Kumar might have to wait a bit longer to make his debut.
Bowlers: Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj
India are unlikely to make any changes in the bowling department. Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Siraj bowled well in the first Test, and the visitors have no reason to shuffle things around and bring in either Shardul Thakur or Jaydev Unadkat since neither pacer had too much workload.
Kuldeep Yadav, who was adjudged the Player of the Match in Chattogram, will be India’s biggest weapon against the Bangladesh batters.
Poll : Should India make any unforced changes for the second Test?