Sunday 26, March 2023

India bat in first Test against Tigers, Zakir makes debut

Time Sports Desk: India have won the toss and elected to bat first in their first of the two-Test series, part of the World Test Championship, against hosts Bangladesh at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram today.

Before the start of play, Zakir Hasan received his Test cap from Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan. That cleared two things Shakib will be leading the side, brushing aside the injury concern he had and that Zakir has become the 101st Test player for Bangladesh.

There was an uncertainty regarding skipper Shakib's availability after he went for a scan yesterday morning during the team's training session due to stiffness. Head coach Russell Domingo had said yesterday the team management was still assessing Shakib's situation.

Zakir, meanwhile, had earned his first call-up to the national team on the back of some impressive performances in the domestic circuit. The left-handed batter scored a brilliant 173 to help Bangladesh A draw against India A in their first four-dayer in Cox's Bazar in November.

With Taskin Ahmed not risked for the first Test as he had injury concerns, Khaled Ahmed and Ebadot Hossain are the two pacers in the Bangladesh eleven for the first Test. Shakib, Mehedi Hasan Miraz and Taijul Islam are the three spinners.

Former Test skipper Mominul Haque, who lost his place in the format during the Tigers' last tour of the West Indies in June due to a poor run of form, has not made it back to the squad after seeing no turn of fortunes with the willow in the recent domestic matches.

After losing the preceding three-match ODI series 2-1 to Bangladesh, the KL Rahul-led India will hope to earn crucial WTC points.

Bangladesh, meanwhile, are going into this tough series after almost a six-month break in the format. The Tigers lost six of their eight Tests this year with their only win coming at Mount Maunganui at the beginning of the year against New Zealand.

Playing XI:

Bangladesh: 1 Najmul Hossain Shanto, 2 Zakir Hasan, 3 Yasir Ali, 4 Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 5 Mushfiqur Rahim, 6 Litton Das, 7 Nurul Hasan (wk), 8 Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 9 Taijul Islam, 10 Khaled Ahmed, 11 Ebadot Hossain

India: 1 KL Rahul (capt), 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Virat Kohli, 5 Shreyas Iyer, 6 Rishabh Pant (wk), 7 R Ashwin, 8 Axar Patel, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Umesh Yadav, 11 Mohammed Siraj


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