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Bangladesh v India - Second Test preview: India should extend Test hold over Tigers

Bangladesh defeated India 2-1 in the ODI series but the Tigers were well beaten by their powerhouse neighbours in the first Test in Chattogram.

India produced an excellent all-round performance to seal a 188-run victory and, even with captain Rohit Sharma still sidelined by a thumb injury, they are hot favourites to complete a 2-0 series win when the second Test starts at the Shere Bangla National Stadium on Thursday.

What: Bangladesh v India, 2nd Test
Where: Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur, Bangladesh
When: 03:30, Thursday 22th December 2022
How to watch: Live on Viaplay
Odds: Bangladesh 5/1, India 2/7, Draw 7/1

India spinners finish the job after early strikes from paceman Siraj

Bangladesh made a positive start to the first Test, reducing India to 48-3 in their first innings when spinner Taijul Islam dismissed superstar batter Virat Kohli for one.

However, India's batting depth is a real strength and, after Cheteshwar Pujara (90) and Shreyas Iyer (86) had steadied the ship, Ravichandran Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav put on 92 for the eighth wicket to help their side pass 400.

Fast bowler Mohammed Siraj then took out three of Bangladesh's top four, dismissing opener Najmul Hossain Shanto with the first ball of the innings, and spinner Kuldeep mopped up the lower-order with 5-40 as the Tigers were rolled over for 150.

That hefty first-innings lead eased the pressure on India's batsmen in their second innings and centuries from Pujara and opener Shubman Gill meant stand-in captain KL Rahul could declare, setting Bangladesh an unlikely victory target of 513.

The hosts showed some fight in the second innings, with Test debutant opener Zakir Hasan scoring 100 and veteran Shakib Al Hasan hitting six sixes in his 84, but spinners Kuldeep and Axar Patel shared seven wickets as India completed a comprehensive victory.

Rahul will lead the side again in Mirpur as Sharma recovers from his thumb injury, and India are 2/7 To Win The Match with Bangladesh 5/1 and the draw 7/1.

India have now won 10 and drawn two of their 12 Test matches against Bangladesh and the gulf between the teams is underlined by their margins of victory in the last four meetings: 188 runs, an innings and 46 runs, an innings and 130 runs, and 208 runs.

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It is hard to back against India given their impressive display in Chattogram – and the one-sided head-to-head record between these teams in Test cricket – but a couple of Bangladesh stars are worth supporting in the player markets.

Experienced batsman Mushfiqur Rahim is the leading runscorer in Mirpur Tests, scoring exactly 1,500 runs in 22 appearances at the National Stadium, including a career-best 219 not out against Zimbabwe in 2018. 

Mushfiqur followed up with another unbeaten double-century against Zimbabwe in 2020 and made 175 not out at the same venue against Sri Lanka in May this year so he looks a decent price at 15/4 to be Top 1st Innings Batter for Bangladesh.

The 35-year-old has spent much of his career as Test wicketkeeper but is now playing as a specialist batter and he averages 76.62 in six Tests in Mirpur when not keeping wicket.

Another Tiger with a great record at the ground is spinner Taijul Islam, who has taken 54 wickets in 11 Tests, including 8-39 against Zimbabwe in 2014. 

He also claimed eight wickets in the match against the West Indies last year although he bowled 50 overs without success against Sri Lanka in May.

Taijul is 3/1 to be the Top 1st Innings Bowler for Bangladesh, having dismissed four India batters in the first innings of the first Test, including Kohli, Pujara and Gill. 

Shakib, the leading Test wicket-taker at the National Stadium, is 12/5, but was unable to bowl after day one in Chattogram due to a niggle and may be used sparingly again.

Youngster Gill should kick on after maiden Test century

India legend Kohli, who missed out in the first innings in Chattogram, is 3/1 to be the tourists' Top 1st Innings Batter, although he has not scored a Test century since making 136 against Bangladesh in November 2019.

Opener Shubman Gill, 23, will be looking to kick on after making his first Test century in Chattogram, a breezy second-innings knock of 110, and he is 9/2 to top-score in India's first dig.

Gill's average of just under 34 after 12 Tests is nothing special but he has faced some high-calibre opponents at the start of his career. 

He made his debut on the 2020/21 tour of Australia, scoring 80, 81 and 98 runs in his first three matches, and his next eight games were against England and New Zealand.

He is a player of real promise and his success is putting additional pressure on opener partner KL Rahul, whose six Test innings this year have yielded scores of 50, eight, 12, 10, 22 and 23. 

Gill is worth a bet at 1/1 to beat 4/5 Rahul in the Batter Matches (Most Runs) market.

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