Virat Kohli’s Indian team will take on Bangladesh in a historic Day/Night Test, the first pink-ball Test for both sides, at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Friday.
So, it is finally going to happen. After years and years of BCCI swaying away from hosting a Day/Night Test, one week was all it took for Sourav Ganguly to make it happen. And it is going to take place in his very own den, Kolkata, so expect the atmosphere to be nothing short of electric. Now, from both teams’ words, it looks like their knowledge of the pink-ball is no better than ours, so I completely expect the encounter to be a fun yet interesting one. I’m going to add some more spice to the encounter and suggest you three high-risk bets you can place on the match to give you crazy returns, so sit back, grab that popcorn and tune into your television sets on Friday because trust me, you do not want to be missing this game!
Mayank Agarwal to score a hundred in the first innings @ 4.50
I never thought there would ever be something that would beat my appetite for food, but Mayank Agarwal’s appetite for runs sure does that - by some distance. This guy is literally a run machine and I cannot fathom how he keeps doing it over and over again. In case you’ve been living under a rock, let me remind you that in the first Test of this series, Mayank bagged the Man of the Match award for his 243 in the first innings. Now let me dissect his career to show you exactly why I have faith in him to succeed once again in the first innings. In just 12 innings, Mayank already has 3 fifties and 3 centuries to his name.
But interestingly, all of his 3 centuries - which includes 2 double centuries - have come in the first innings of the match. In fact, whilst his career average stands tall at 71.50, it shoots up to an incredible 98.62 in the first innings of matches. And in case you need more convincing, his scores in the 1st innings of matches in India reads as follows: 215,108,10 and 243. To be honest, I would not even call this a “risky bet”, but you know, got to respect the odds.
Mushfiqur Rahim to be Bangladesh’s top batsman in the first innings at 4.00
I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that even the Indian players have some sympathy for poor Mushfiqur Rahim, who has honestly been put under too much pressure in this tour. As if him shouldering the responsibility with the bat wasn’t enough, the commentators were slating the poor guy for not helping Mominul Haque with the captaincy. But he is not the captain and as a batsman, he has been doing all he can. He was the only shining light for Bangladesh in the Indore Test, top scoring in both the innings, keeping his head calm amidst the chaos that unfolded around him. Against India in Tests, Rahim’s first innings average stands at an impressive 49, and on top of that, his first innings average against India in India is an incredible 85.00. In fact, his ton against India in Deccan in 2017 came in the first innings, too. Rahim’s overall average of 35.05 is only bettered by Mominul in the current XI, but the latter’s dismal average of 22.93 makes Rahim the clear-cut favorite to walk away with the ‘top batsman’ tag.
Mohammed Shami to be India’s top bowler in the 1st innings at 5.00
A couple of days ago, Dale Steyn named Shami as the best Test bowler in the world. I mean, does he even need validation from anyone else? And believe me, Shami deserves every ounce of praise that is coming his way. He simply has been exceptional. In fact, ‘exceptional’ might be an understatement. First of all, his record in home Tests is absurd. Shami has taken 60 wickets in just 15 Tests at a remarkable average of 20.48 in Tests in India. Like Mayank, he was the standout performer in the first Test, claiming 7 wkts in the match and ending the Test as the top bowler for the team - in both the innings. Now, we know that Eden Gardens favours pacers and that the pink-ball skews it even further in their favour, but do we know the extent of damage Shami can inflict in the second Test? Not yet.
But we what we know is that he is all but untouchable at Eden. In 3 Tests at the venue, he has claimed an astonishing 21 wickets, which have come at an average of 17. In his last Test at this venue against the Lankans, he scalped 4 wickets, out-performing his compatriot Umesh Yadav by some distance. With Shami possessing a superior record at Eden compared to Umesh, who averages 20.70 at Eden, the stage is set for the West Bengal man to light the stadium up with his fiery spells and knock the Bangladeshi batsmen over.