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KL Rahul’s leadership will be put to the test as India strives to qualify for the World Test Championship

KL Rahul's leadership will be put to the test as India strives to qualify for the World Test Championship

KL The outcome of the high-stakes two-match series between a depleted Indian side and a difficult Bangladesh will affect India’s prospects of qualifying for the World Test Championship final. Rahul’s tactical acumen and batting skill will be put to the test. Behind Australia, South Africa, and Sri Lanka, India is now fourth in the WTC rankings. The only way to guarantee a spot in the final in June is to easily win both of the Tests against Bangladesh and then all four of the matches at home against Pat Cummins’ Australia.

The trip begins at the Zahoor Ahmed Stadium, which historically has favored batters but also provides some turn toward the match’s crucial moments.

In the Test format, where Bangladesh has yet to defeat India, the visitors will start as overwhelming favorites. However, the absence of Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Ravindra Jadeja could affect the team.

On these kind of tracks, Jadeja’s absence always puts the Indian side on the defensive, particularly when the opposition team is batting in the third or fourth innings.

Axar Patel has put in a lot of work over the previous two seasons as the backup left-arm spinner, but Jadeja-Ashwin could be deadly, at least against weaker Test nations on sub-continental wickets.

If all Indian players are healthy, up to 10 can choose their own starting lineup. The two Rahuls, captain KL and head coach Dravid, must decide whether to select a third pacer or third spinner as the fifth specialist bowler.

It remains to be seen if India would play either Saurabh Kumar, a slow left-arm orthodox spinner, or third-choice wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav.

With 15 wickets in the just finished two-Test series against Bangladesh A, Saurabh, who has been a standout for India A, would feel that he has established his case for a Test cap in at least one of the two games.

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