The One-off Test at Fatullah, Bangladesh, is looking like an encounter between India and the weather. After Virat Kohli, India's new Test captain won the toss and elected to bat on a placid wicket, the visitors scored 239 without any loss in the 56 overs played on a rain-curtailed first day.
No wicket in 56 overs, what are Bangladeshi bowlers up to?
Shikhar Dhawan was batting on 150 in just 158 balls and there was not much urgency seen during this almost run-a-ball innings, his partner Murli Vijay was batting on 89 off 178 balls. [Scorecard]
The hosts, who were playing with just one quick bowler on a flat wicket, looked clueless. From where will the first wicket come, nobody really knows at this moment.
Why Bangladesh play Tests? What is their credibility?
Why is Bangladesh allowed to play Tests? What is their credibility to speak for their appearance in five-day games, still considered the toughest test of skills (that's why the name)? Have they been allowed to play Tests just because they are a a part of the influential Asian lobby?
Only 4 wins in 15 years and that too against second-string sides
The team is near to playing their 100th Test match in some time over a period of 15 years and they have managed to win just four games so far: two against a second-string West Indies side and two against the lowest-ranked Zimbabwe. They had come very close to win a Test match against Pakistan once but a talented Inzamam-ul-Haq denied them the sweet taste.
Sri Lanka had once asked 2 of its batsmen to retire out vs Bangladesh in a Test: What a humiliation for Test cricket
Bangladesh was also one of the sides in a Test match in which their opponents Sri Lanka asked two of its batsmen, Marvan Atapattu and Mahela Jayawardena, batting on 201 and 150, respectively, to retire out. It was during the Asian Test Championship in 2001 and spoke volumes about the demeaning of Test cricket with the inclusion of teams like Bangladesh.
89 of Muralidharan's 800 wickets are against Bangladesh, only 11 of Warne's 708 are against them
Muttiah Muralidharan, the Sri Lankan offspinner who holds the record of most number of Test wickets (800), had picked 89 of those against Bangladesh in just 11 Tests (average of 13.37 and strike rate of 30.4, his best against any side in Tests).
Lanka once asked 2 batsmen to retire in a Test vs Bangla. A tragedy for Tests
Australia's Shane Warne, the second in the list with 708 wickets, had just 11 of those coming against Bangladesh in 2 matches.
So Bangladesh's generous or unskilled batsmen had a big role to play behind the Sri Lankan offie's world record.
Bangladesh are just glorified minnows and not fit to play Tests
But does it add to Test cricket's glory by allowing the minnows to play Test cricket? If performance is really a yardstick, why didn't we seen Kenya on a bigger platform after making the World Cup semifinals in South Africa in 2003? Wasn't their lobby stronger?
But a hapless Bangladesh continues to steal media limelight for their no show. A fair deal?
Who will take 20 wickets for Bangladesh, even at home?
It is extremely challenging for teams like Bangladesh to make an impact in Test cricket for they do not have the bowling capacity to take 20 wickets. The body structure, the pitch conditions and still-developing infrastructure are going to hurt them for long time to come. A success here and there in limited overs cricket doesn't guarantee a success in Test cricket.
Even big teams like India and Sri Lanka have found it hard in Tests because of weak bowling attacks
We have seen teams like India and Sri Lanka winning the World Cup in limited overs cricket (50-overs or Twenty20) but they have always struggled to emerge at the top of the table in Test cricket because of weak bowling attacks. They still have a rich history in batsmanship but Bangladesh struggles even with that.
But Bangladesh haven't even succeeded with the bat
They had scored 400 in the first innings of their debut Test against India but were skittled out for just 91 in the second essay to lose the match by 9 wickets.
That was 15 years ago. Since then, they have crossed 500 runs just 14 times, thrice outside their country and twice outside the subcontinent.
Cricket is not soccer, individual capacity is a must in this game
Cricket is not soccer where skills are teamwork based. In cricket, individual capacity matters, particularly in bowling and that is where Bangladesh has a serious drawback. Mindless addition to international cricket teams just to make the sports go global and mint more money isn't any way forward.
To see teams like Bangladesh expecting more rain than wickets is a poor tribute to the glory of Test cricket.