If India lose to Bangladesh, they will drop to seventh in the Test rankings. If the Test is drawn, India will drop to 97 points but will stay above England and Pakistan. Victory will keep them at No. 3
Bangladesh have taken on different challenges this year and, for the most part, have produced desired results. The World Cup quarterfinal was reached and Pakistan were soundly beaten at home. Now they take on India in a one-off Test, an opponent they have often said brings the best out in the team.
India are making a fresh start as Virat Kohli begins his stint as full-time Test captain. The make-up of the team is similar to the one that was beaten 2-0 in Australia, but the two drawn games in that series was encouragement for a team finding its feet.
In seven Tests in Bangladesh, India have won six and drawn one. And because of the lack of big-ticket appeal of touring Bangladesh, India have not visited since 2010. They might field an XI comprising five batsmen, a wicketkeeper and five bowlers, but given the conditions selecting a sixth batsman will not be a conservative choice. Bangladesh, on the other hand, have picked eight batsmen often in the last 12 months, with allrounder Shuvagata Hom playing a bits-and-pieces role at No 8.
Bangladesh have less to lose from this series than India. If India lose to Bangladesh, they will drop to seventh in the ICC Test rankings, with 95 points. If the match is drawn, India will drop to 97 points but will stay above England and Pakistan. Victory will earn them one point and keep them at No. 3.
Bangladesh LDWWW (last five matches, most recent first) India DDLLL
In the spotlight
Shakib Al Hasan did not bowl well against Pakistan but made two important contributions with the bat. He will once again be relied upon to lead a lop-sided bowling attack and to be the middle-order enforcer while batting.
Cheteshwar Pujara averaged 52.44 in seven first-class matches for Saurashtra and Yorkshire this year with two hundreds and a fifty. It is a good set of numbers for someone who was dropped from India's last Test and who missed the IPL after being released by Kings XI Punjab.
Bangladesh need to decide whether Mushfiqur Rahim, who was injured during the series against Pakistan, can keep wickets. If not, Litton Das will make his debut as a wicketkeeper. The other decision is whether to pick both seamers Mohammad Shahid and Rubel Hossain. If there is space for just one, then Rubel has the edge. They are also without Mahmudullah, who was injured in practice in the lead up to the Test.
Shikhar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara will replace KL Rahul, who is ill, and Suresh Raina from the XI India fielded in Sydney in January. Seamers Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Varun Aaron are competing for one spot, as are spinners Karn Sharma and Harbhajan Singh.
India (probable): 1 M Vijay, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Virat Kohli (capt), 5 Ajinkya Rahane, 6 Rohit Sharma, 7 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 8 R Ashwin, 9 Harbhajan Singh/Karn Sharma, 10 Ishant Sharma/Bhuvneshwar Kumar/Varun Aaron, 11 Umesh Yadav
Pitch and conditions
Fatullah hosted more than 120 matches in the 2014-15 domestic season but the pitch is unlikely to show wear and tear early in the game. It is bound by grass, which has surprised the Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha, but Mominul Haque said it was on the slower side. It has been hot and humid in Fatullah for the last couple of weeks and rain is forecast over the next few days.
Stats and trivia
From the current squads, five Bangladesh players have played a Test against India, while only three Indians have played Bangladesh.
Tamim Iqbal is seven away from toppling Habibul Bashar's tally of 3026 runs as the highest Test aggregate for Bangladesh
Rubel Hossain has never played a first-class match in Fatullah.
"I have never seen a wicket like this." Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha when asked about the pitch, which has grass on it
"I have some vision in my mind which I have discussed with the team. We are all on the same page. It is pretty exciting for me to start as full-time Test captain and hopefully it is a positive start." Virat Kohli on the road ahead for his team