November 9, 2000

Past record is also against Bangladesh

The odds are stacked against Bangladesh in their inaugural Test against India which commences at the Bangabandhu stadium in Dhaka on Friday. Everyone, even the most optimistic Bangladesh cricket fan, is aware of the enormous disparity between the two sides. And as if this is not enough, even past record would seem to be mocking at any attempt made by the home side to rise to the occasion.

On seven of the nine previous occasions a country has played its inaugural Test, the result has been defeat. Only on one occasion has a team won and on one occasion, it has been a draw.

Australia defeated England by 45 runs in the first ever Test match played at Melbourne in March 1877. Till date, they are the only country to win their first Test match.

Seven countries who followed the two pioneering nations into the Test arena met with defeat on the historic occasion. In 1889, South Africa lost to England by eight wickets at Port Elizabeth. In 1928, West Indies made their international debut only to lose to England by an innings and 58 runs at Lord's. In 1930, New Zealand went down to England by eight wickets in their first Test at Christchurch. And in 1932 India entered the Test arena only to lose to England by 158 runs at Lord's.

Twenty years later, Pakistan became the seventh nation to enter the Test fold but were beaten in their first game against India by an innings and 70 runs at New Delhi in 1952. In 1982, Sri Lanka played their first ever Test against England at Colombo but went down fighting by seven wickets. Zimbabwe however broke new ground, in a way, by having the better of a drawn match with India in their inaugural Test at Harare in 1992.