Bangladesh eye strong showing in first-ever Test in India

Dhaka, Feb 2 (IANS) Ahead of their one-off Test against India starting February 9 in Hyderabad, Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim wants to put up a strong show so as to get frequent invitations for bilateral series from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Back from a 0-2 thrashing in Tests against New Zealand, the Bangladesh captain, played down the importance of match against India — referred to by some as “historic” — and wanted his team to treat it as just another Test.

This is the first time Bangladesh will play a Test in India since gaining Test status. They played their first-ever Test against India in Dhaka in November 2000.

“I’m a little surprised, I don’t believe that this is a historic Test,” Rahim was quoted as saying by espncricinfo on Thursday, ahead of the team’s departure to India.

“We want to tell world cricket what we can do in India. I don’t think about how many years later we are going to play in India. We want to play in such a way that India invites (us) again and again. This to me is just another Test match.”

“Take for example when we play against Zimbabwe. The pressure is more because if we lose against them then there is nothing more shameful than that. I will say that it is better that we are going there now and not five years ago,” he added.

Rahim, who has returned to the Test squad after missing Bangladesh’s last game in New Zealand due to a finger injury, also expected his team to put up a collective fight.

“I hope that the recent performers will hold on to their form and put together a team performance. And to those who haven’t done well in the recent past, you have a chance to give a good account of yourself,” he said.

Hailing India’s prowess, specially in home conditions, Rahim said: “A team effort will give us a good result. They have a strong squad, and are always really good in their home conditions. We want to do well against them over five days, and not just two or three days.”

Rahim’s side will play a two-day practice match against India A in Hyderabad before the Test.