Cricket

India axe triple centurion for Bangladesh Test

2017-02-08 13:44
Karun Nair (AP)

Hyderabad - India captain Virat Kohli insisted on Wednesday that his record-breaking side weren't taking their debut home Test against Bangladesh lightly - despite dropping a batsman who scored a triple century on his last outing.

After going unbeaten in the last 18 Tests, Kohli's number one ranked team is widely expected to swat aside a Bangladeshi outfit that has never beaten top-notch opposition on their travels.

And after a 4-0 win over England in their last series, India's confidence is so high they even feel they can drop rookie batsman Karun Nair, who scored 303 not out in the final Test in Chennai.

But Kohli, who has himself scored three Test double centuries since July, said there was no danger of the world's top-ranked Test team becoming complacent.

"No team is invincible, no team is unbeatable," he said, ahead of the one-off match in Hyderabad which starts on Thursday.

"We have been able to win games because of persistence by the bowlers, application by the batsmen, coming back from tough situations.

Kohli did not reveal his line-up, but made clear that fit-again Ajinkya Rahane would return in place of Nair who has a Test average of 160 after scoring an unbeaten 303 against England in December.

"One game doesn't overshadow two years of hard work from another player. You need to understand what 'Jinks' (Rahane) has done for the team over the past two years," Kohli said.

"He averages almost fifty in this format and he is probably the most solid batsman in the Test team. He deserved to walk back into the team whenever he got fit.

"Karun was stepping into his shoes and what he did was remarkable, but sealing his spot as far as the squad was concerned is what Karun did."

Kohli is well aware of the dangers of India getting carried away after the home favourites were knocked out of last year's World Twenty20 at the semi-final stage by the unfancied West Indies.

During the same tournament, India only just scraped home in their match against Bangladesh in the last ball of the game.

India also lost a one-day series in 2015 on a tour of Bangladesh, while a one-off Test was drawn after being disrupted by rain.

"We are wary of their ability and the talent that they bring to the table," Kohli told reporters.

This week's match marks the first time that Bangladesh have been invited to play a Test in India since they won Test status in 2000.

While Bangladesh did manage to beat England for the first time in Test cricket in Dhaka last year, their struggles away from home were once again underlined by two subsequent defeats in New Zealand.

Bangladeshi skipper Mushfiqur Rahim said the tourists were excited by the prospect of taking on the best in the world in an historic match.

"It is a great opportunity to show some character and show our ability and hopefully we can match up with the top side," said the wicketkeeper-batsman.

"We played really well against England and individually we played well against New Zealand... although we lost the last two Tests (there were a) lot of positives coming from those two games."

Although Bangladesh are ninth out of 10 in the Test rankings, Kohli said India would not underestimate their opponents whom he said deserved to be given more chances to improve as a team.

"They have the skill, it's just that they don't play that many Test matches to gain confidence as a squad," he said.

India enjoy an unbeaten record against Bangladesh with six wins and two draws in their eight encounters.

Read more on:    india  |  bangladesh  |  cricket
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