India’s role to elevate Bangladesh to Test cricket was pivotal, be it at the board level or individuals. For that matter, Raman Lamba played his role in progress of Bangladesh’s cricket. The former Indian opener even breathed last at Dhaka. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Bangladesh, One-off Test at Hyderabad

“Had Raman been alive, he would have been proud to see how far Bangladesh cricket has come. He was very dear to us, and remains one of our best cricket friends. He did a lot for Bangladesh cricket. I wrote a column in a newspaper on some memorable moments spent with Raman. And when I sat down to write it, I cried,” Aminul Islam once told ESPNCricinfo.

Then there was a Jagmohan Dalmiya, who went out of the way to help the neighbours set their foot in the pristine format. When former BCCI chief passed away in 2015 (when the cricketing relationship had strained a bit), Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) media manager Rabeed Imam told CricketCountry, “Bangladesh cricket’s relation with Dalmiya has never been restricted to work. It was more than professional relation.

Dalmiya always wanted the betterment of Bangladesh cricket. We, at Bangladesh cricket, are saddened and heartbroken at the demise of the BCCI chief. Dalmiya always wished a bright future for our cricketers and even if there was any tough time after the World Cup, he never let it affect the relationship between BCCI and BCB.”

The relationship, especially between the fans of the two neighbouring nations, may not be at its best, especially after Bangladesh’s exit in the World Cup 2015 quarter-final. Over the years, however, the two nations have remained strong allies with India’s continuance of support.

In November 2000, a young Indian captain by the name of Sourav Ganguly led his side at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka. This was his first Test as in-charge, and it came post the ugly episode of match-fixing scandal that rocked the game. But the occasion was more grandeur or rather historic for another reason. Ganguly went on to be one of India’s greatest captains while Bangladesh are still struggling to find their feet in the traditional format.

Bangladesh were playing their first-ever Test. They did well. Aminul Islam’s 145 guided them to 400, but they collapsed for 91 in the second innings to hand India a 9-wicket win.

Since that November day till now, India and Bangladesh have played only 8 Tests against each other. What is more surprising is the fact that the Hyderabad match that begins Thursday will be Bangladesh’s first Test, in India, in almost 16-and-half years.

Here is a brief look at the results between the two sides:

Designed by Neeraj Kathale | Infographics by Suvajit Mustafi
Designed by Neeraj Kathale | Infographics by Suvajit Mustafi

India have clearly dominated and not once have Bangladesh have posed a serious threat. The key batsmen Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid made merry against their bowling. Even the likes of Ganguly and Gautam Gambhir had a happy run. In the last Test between these two sides, back in 2015, Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay slammed hundreds.

Bangladesh’s spin department has scaled up in reputation, and this Indian side have not played them enough. India are the No. 1 Test side, while Bangladesh are reeling at the ninth spot. But rankings can be deceiving here…

Bangladesh, in all likelihood, will pose India a stiffer challenge than their previous opponents this season — England and New Zealand — as they are better attuned to subcontinent conditions.

Bangladesh will put the New Zealand drubbing behind them and seek more solace from their splendid show against England earlier this season.

With Zaheer Khan and Irfan Pathan ruling the bowling roost, it can be said that Bangladesh historically have not been comfortable against left-arm pacers. In fact, Aniket Choudhary, another southpaw, took 4 for 26 in Bangladesh’s practice match last weekend. Be that as it may, there is none in the Indian camp and Bangladesh’s premier bowler Mustafizur Rahman has been rested as well.

Had rains not played a spoilsport in 2015, India could have had 7 wins to their name. When the sides clash at Hyderabad for this historic Test, the expectation from Virat Kohli’s men will be no different from India.