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Bangladesh v India series preview: Bangladesh target rare Test triumph over India

After beating India 2-1 in a dramatic ODI series, Bangladesh are aiming to cause another upset in the upcoming two-Test series.

The opening game starts on Wednesday in Chattogram, where India will be captained by KL Rahul as regular skipper Rohit Sharma suffered a thumb injury while fielding in the second ODI.

What: Bangladesh v India, 1st Test
Where: Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chattogram
When: 03:30, Wednesday 14th December
How to watch: Viaplay
Odds: Bangladesh 10/3, India 4/7, Draw 4/1

Tough task for Tigers despite home advantage

Bangladesh's bowlers will not be expecting much assistance from the pitch in Chattogram, where India racked up 409-8 on their way to a crushing 227-run consolation win in Saturday's third ODI.

Opener Ishan Kishan, who blasted 210 from just 131 balls in that victory, is not in India's Test squad, but Cheteshwar Pujara, Shubman Gill and dynamic wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant could feature in the tourists' top order.

The teams have played only three Test matches since the start of 2016, all won by India on home soil by margins of 208 runs, an innings and 130 runs and an innings and 46 runs.

Bangladesh have struggled to compete in the longest format of the game and, since a 2-0 win over the West Indies in 2018, they have lost nine and drawn one of their 10 two-match Test series.

They suffered a chastening 224-run defeat to Afghanistan in Chattogram in September 2019 and, despite their one-day victory over India, there are major doubts over the strength of their batting.

Number eight Mehidy Hasan Miraz was their batting star in the ODIs, scoring 38 not out in a thrilling one-wicket win in the first game and making an unbeaten 100 in the second match.

He is 20/1 to be Bangladesh's Top 1st Inns Batter, but Mominul Haque, a Chattogram course specialist, is worth considering at 7/2.

Mominul averages more than 63 in Tests at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, scoring seven centuries in just 22 innings, although he made just 42 runs in four knocks for Bangladesh A against India A earlier this month.

Kohli keen to cash in on batter-friendly pitch

India superstar Virat Kohli signed off the one-day series with 113 off 91 deliveries on Saturday but he has not scored a Test century since November 2019 and will be determined to end that drought in Bangladesh.

Kohli has a fine Test record against the Tigers, scoring 204 and 38 in Hyderabad in 2017 and 136, his most recent Test ton, in Kolkata three years ago.

He is 3/1 to be the Top 1st Inns Batter from either team in Chattogram, although he made a second-ball duck in the first Test of the 2019 series against Bangladesh when India piled up a total of 493-6 declared.

With a batting-friendly surface expected for the series opener, India are 1/3 in the Team Batter to Score a Hundred in 1st Innings market - in their last five Tests against Bangladesh their highest individual score in the first innings were 136, 243, 204, 173 and 143.

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Taijul a tempting bet to turn the tables on India

Bangladesh are likely to play just two fast bowlers in the first Test and spinners dominate their Top 1st Inns Bowler market with Shakib Al Hasan 5/2, Mehidy Hasan Miraz 5/2 and Taijul Islam 10/3.

All three have fine Test records at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, but Taijul's fresher form suggests he could be worth a bet, having taken 30 wickets in his last five appearances at the venue.

That haul was boosted by first-innings figures of 7-116 against Pakistan last year, in a match in which Bangladesh's other bowlers claimed just four scalps between them, and the left-arm spinner could trouble India's stellar batting unit.

The visitors' spin attack is formidable despite the absence of the injured Ravindra Jadeja. R Ashwin took 5-87 in the first innings of his only previous Test match in Bangladesh, in Fatullah in 2015, and he is 8/1 to be Player of the Match.

Ashwin is eight short of 450 Test wickets and should reach that landmark in this series, if not in the first Test, but his junior partner Axar Patel has made an extraordinary start to his Test career, taking 39 wickets in just six matches against England, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.

Axar is also a competent batter, scoring 52 and 41 not out against the Kiwis in Mumbai last December, and he could be worth a look at 9/1 to be Player of the Match.

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