Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim has brushed aside the portrayal of their maiden Test in India next week as a "historic" one, saying that he feels it is more important to treat the game as an opportunity to show Bangladesh's measure in world cricket. He also hopes that a good performance in the one-off game will prompt the BCCI to invite them frequently.
The team leaves Dhaka on February 2, to play a two-day practice match against India A and the Test in Hyderabad, which will be Bangladesh's first in India since gaining ICC Full Member status in 2000. Interestingly, it was the BCCI's push that was vital in their ascent from Associate Member, and India played against them in their inaugural Test on November 10, 2000. India toured Bangladesh four more times to play Tests thereafter.
"I'm a little surprised, I don't believe that this is a historic Test," Mushfiqur said. "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.
"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 again and again. This to me is just another Test match."
Mushfiqur, who has returned to the Test squad after missing Bangladesh's last game in New Zealand due to a finger injury, said that he hopes the team puts together a collective performance. Bangladesh lost both Tests in New Zealand but gave the home side some tough sessions.
"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.
"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," he said.
Mushfiqur said Bangladesh's squad is balanced, with four pace bowlers and three specialist spinners and depth in the batting department.
The return of Imrul Kayes, Mominul Haque and Mushfiqur himself means that Bangladesh have their full batting strength back. Soumya Sarkar and Imrul are likely to be in competition for the role of Tamim Iqbal's opening partner, while Mahmudullah, Shakib Al Hasan and Sabbir Rahman will be expected to make runs in the middle order.
"No matter what conditions they offer, we have a balanced side. We have enough pacers and spinners and depth in batting.
"I think our batsmen will have a challenge in their hands against their world-class attack. As a bowling unit we are inexperienced, but one or two bowlers did do well in New Zealand. If we can perform as a team we can do well against any other good team."