The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hope to repeat Dhaka: Wright
- As expected, Team India to retain same XI

Calcutta: As reported by The Telegraph on Thursday, the Team India XI for the second and final Test against Bangladesh, in Chittagong from Friday, is going to remain unchanged.

In fact, the XI will be the same for the third successive Test ' this sequence beginning at the Eden (versus South Africa) late last month. After that, of course, was the Test in Dhaka.

Agencies add from Dhaka: After demolishing Bangladesh in the first match, a full-strength India would look for an encore in the second Test starting at the M. A. Aziz Stadium here on Friday.

'We hope to repeat a similar result,' Team India coach John Wright said on the team's target, as they take on an opposition who have failed to avoid defeat in 30 off their 33 matches since entering the Test league of cricket nations.

'There are a few youngsters in the team but players must remember that they represent India and have to win their places,' the New Zealander said.

The tourists will be playing for the first time in Chittagong, where intense security seems more like an aberration. Though the port city paints a pretty picture with its sea front and pockets of greenery, the battalion of green-clad armed men escorting the cricketers present a mood of confrontation and anxiety.

In fact, so tight was the security that Team India vice-captain Rahul Dravid and his wife's movement were restricted because there were not enough security personnel to accompany them.

Both Wright and his Bangladesh counterpart Dav Whatmore feel the pitch is a 'good cricket wicket' similar to the one laid out at Dhaka.

'There will be rewards for some tough bowling and the batsmen will benefit too,' Whatmore said.

Bangladesh might leave out fast bowler Mashrafee Murtaza who rattled the Indian top order in the first Test. Murtaza was returning from a year-long injury lay-off, and the team though it better not to overburden him, keeping in mind the tough schedule ahead this season, Whatmore said.

Although included in the squad, Murtaza may be replaced by Nazmul Hossain, 17-year-old right-arm pacer. Hossain picked four for 40 in a one-day International against New Zealand last month at the same venue.

The record books, however, do not hold much hope for Bangladesh. They have suffered defeat in all the six matches played at the ground since 2001 and three of them by innings margin.

As in the first Test, at least one milestone is in store, as Zaheer Khan looks for his 100th scalp. The 26-year-old Indian pacer created a world record for No. 11 batsmen, cracking a swashbuckling 75 at Dhaka. He would definitely cherish a century of wickets than runs though.

Irfan Pathan, at the other end, has completed one year with Team India since his debut in the Adelaide Test. With the two new ball bowlers firing on all cylinders, the prospects look bleak for the hosts.

Ironically, in both the Bangladesh innings, the tail wagged long as the Indians allowed the innings to drift.

'In the first innings we had them at 50 for five but failed to nail them,' Wright said.

'No matter whom you play, you have to be consistent. You have to set your own standards. I felt that is one area we were not probably good at.'

Rahul Dravid and V. V. S. Laxman would also be looking for big knocks. 'Laxman played a beautiful little innings ... And we all know what Dravid is capable of,' Wright said.


India: Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, V.V.S. Laxman, Dinesh Karthik, Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumble, Zaheer Khan.

Bangladesh (from): Nafis Iqbal, Javed Omar, Habibul Bashar (capt.), Rajin Saleh, Mohammed Ashraful, Khaled Mashud, Mushfiqur Rahman, Manjural Islam Rana, Mohammed Rafique, Aftab Ahmed, Tapash Baisya, Mashrafee Murtaza, Talha Zubair, Nazmul Hossain.

Umpires: Aleem Dar (Pak), Mark Benson (Eng).

Match Referee: Chris Broad.

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