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India vs Bangladesh | Recent Test Successes Give Bangladesh Hope Ahead of India Series

Bangladesh has just won 13 matches (lost as many as 86) in their 115 Test old cricket history.

Nikhil Narain |November 13, 2019, 2:29 PM IST
India vs Bangladesh | Recent Test Successes Give Bangladesh Hope Ahead of India Series

Bangladesh has just won 13 matches (lost as many as 86) in their 115 Test old cricket history.

Post 2015 though, there has been a significant improvement in their performances. They have won 6 (and lost 16) of the 27 Tests in this period.

What has been most heartening for Bangladesh is that they have beaten 5 different opponents in this period – and against three of them it was their first ever Test victory!

BANGLADESH TEST RECENT

THE HIGHS AND THE LOW

Their biggest win in this time-frame came against England in Dhaka in October 2016 when Tamim Iqbal’s hundred and Mehidy Hasan’s 12-for helped Bangladesh beat the visitors by 108 runs to level the two-match series at 1-1.

It was Bangladesh’s first Test win against England.

Tamim Iqbal (49 and 82) was again their star with the bat along with Shakib Al Hasan (116 in the first innings and six wickets in the match) in another comeback win – this time against Sri Lanka in Colombo in March 2017. 0-1 down in the two-match series, Bangladesh showed character to chase down 191 in the fourth innings and thereby recorded their first win over Sri Lanka in Test cricket.

Remarkably, a few months later, it was once again the same pairing of Tamim and Shakib who handed Bangladesh their first Test win against Australia – in a cliffhanger in Dhaka – by just 20 runs. While Tamim scored a couple of 70s in the match, Shakib again displayed a fine all-round show scoring 84 in the first innings and picking 10 wickets in the match.

Bangladesh beat West Indies 2-0 at home in 2018 to register their first series win in this period. Overall, it was only their fourth series win ever in Test cricket!

To summarize, Bangladesh have played 15 Test series since 2015. Apart from their win against West Indies, they managed creditable draws against England, Sri Lanka, Australia and South Africa.

However, they also suffered a big setback in September, 2019 when they were handed a massive 224-run drubbing by Afghanistan at Chattogram.

BANGLADESH TEST RECENT2

THE STANDOUT BATSMEN AND BOWLERS

Tamim and Shakib have been the standout batsmen for Bangladesh in this period and the only ones to average above 40 (min. runs 500).

Tamim has been their biggest match-winner with the bat as his average of 70.66 in victorious matches indicates. Mahmudullah and Mominul Haque, with win averages of 61.16 and 55.71, have also contributed to Bangladesh’s success in this period.

Five of Bangladesh’s seven highest totals have been registered post 2015 including their highest outside the subcontinent and second-highest ever of 595-8 against New Zealand at Wellington.

Three of the four double hundreds recorded by Bangladeshi batsmen have come in this period.

Bangladesh also registered their biggest Test win and their only one by an innings (innings and 184 runs) – against the West Indies in Dhaka in November, 2018 – in this time-frame.

BANGLADESH TEST RECENT3

It is interesting (but not surprising) that the three leading wicket-takers for Bangladesh post 2015 have all been spinners.

Off-spinner, Mehidy Hasan, has taken the maximum wickets for Bangladesh during this period. He has also been their biggest match-winner with an average of 17.54 and strike rate of 32.2 in victorious matches.

Shakib has also contributed to their success with an average of 18.73 and strike rate of 39.9 in wins.

Three of Bangladesh’s best match figures with the ball in their Test history have been registered during this period – Hasan has picked 12-wickets in a match twice while Taijul returned with 11 against Zimbabwe in Sylhet in 2018.

Notably, their most prominent pace bowler, Mustafizur Rahman, hasn’t had the best of returns in this period – just 28 wickets in 13 matches (21 innings) at an average of 35.17 and strike rate of 65.8.

Bangladesh had registered seven wins in their first 15 years of Test cricket (from 2000 to 2014) – all against just two opponents – Zimbabwe and West Indies.

They have won 6 more Tests thereafter beating five different sides in these five years.

The non-availability of Shakib and Tamim will severely hamper Bangladesh’s chances as they make their debut in the World Test Championship against India  in Indore on Thursday.

But if they take some inspiration from their recent performances they might just surprise India.

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