A more predictable collapse for a mere 91 in the second innings handed India a relatively comfortable nine-wicket win in failing light late on the fourth evening.

Much has happened since then. None of Bangladesh's 13 test victories has come against the powerhouse of the Sub-Continent, with two draws all that the Tigers have to show for their nine matches against India.

The most recent match between the two nations in 2017 went according to the script, with India amassing an impregnable 687 for six in defeating their less experienced foes by 208 runs.

Bangladesh today take to the crease in Indore hoping to show that they are slowly but surely closing the gap between the two nations.

They will have to do this without arguably their two best batsmen. Opener Tamim Iqbal misses the series to be with his wife as they prepare to welcome their second child.

The story of former leader Shakib al-Hasan is rather more complicated. Having led his players in strike action and then led them back to work again, Shakib now finds himself on the outer completely, having been banned by the ICC for two years (one suspended), for failing to report three separate approaches from a suspected corruptor.

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Tamim's place is taken by the experienced Imrul Kayes, who whilst not having the most imposing of test records numerically, will at least provide a steady hand and a wise head at the top of the order.

He may well find his opening partner to be the promising youngster Shadman Islam. Shadman impressed in scoring a composed 76 in his maiden test innings in Dhaka 12 months ago after amassing an impressive body of work at under-19 level, and comes to the tournament with confidence levels high after stroking 178 in his most recent match in Bangladesh's first class competition.

The absence of Bangladesh's two star batsmen will place even greater reliance on their consistent pocket battleship, Mushfiqur Rahim.

Only Tamim has more test runs for Bangladesh than Mushfiq's 4029, and none in this test squad can match his temperament when it comes down to playing a long innings.

New captain Mominul Haque will be required to lead from the front; he has more than once shown himself to have the ability to become an elite test match batsman but has at times found consistency difficult to come by.

These potential match winners will be assisted by a group of batsmen that have at times flattered to deceive at test level. With adversity, however, comes opportunity, and now is the time for one or more batsmen to step out from that pack and take the test series by the scruff of the neck.

Mahmudullah Riyad has been around for a long time and now leads his country in the short game, but too often has given his wicket away at test level with the attack seemingly at his mercy.

Liton Das is a far better player than his test average of 23.71 from 28 innings would suggest. Mossadek Hossain has had limited opportunities at test level, but has shown enough to suggest that he could succeed as a test batsman.

Shakib's absence provides the chance for one of these players, or even fringe players such as Mohammad Mithun or exciting youngster Saif Hassan, the chance to establish themselves in the Bangladeshi middle order.

Bangladesh's strength in bowling, as always, will lie within their spin department. Both Taijul Islam and Mehidy Hasan have spun their side to victory, albeit in helpful conditions, with 10-wicket match hauls in the recent past.

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The fact that this game will be played under lights with a pink ball, however, tends to suggest that there may be one assistance there for the faster men.

Mustafizur Rahman will lead the pace attack and although his effectiveness has tapered in recent times as injury and form concerns have made life difficult, he may find the conditions at Indore and Kolkata to his liking.

He is likely to be assisted by the inexperienced Abu Jayed, who is quite hasty by all accounts but still raw at this level.

The major concern for the Indian hosts may not be who to play, but rather who to leave out.

The recent form of Rohit Sharma at the top of the order suggests that he is finally ready to convert his dominance of the short game into consistent runs in the long form, whilst the impressive start to the test career of Mayank Agarwal has been good enough to keep the experienced Shikhar Dhawan and the youthful Shubman Gill at bay.

The middle order of the almost-unbowlable Cheteshwar Pujara, arguably the world's best all-wicket batsman in Virat Kohli and the stylish Ajinkya Rahane has shown the ability to make runs against the very best attacks in any conditions.

This has allowed Hanuma Vihari to come into the batting order at number six with seamless effect.

Once an attack has disposed of these six, their work is only half done.

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The middle order is complemented by either the busy Wriddhiman Saha, or the explosive Rishabh Pant at seven depending on which wicketkeeper they wish to employ.

Saha probably has the edge on an improving Pant in terms of glovemanship, but both have shown that they can be effective with the bat at test level using their preferred methods to get the job done.

Spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindran Jadeja play a dual role in this side. Not only are they both match-winners with ball in hand, with Ashwin's right-arm off-spin complimenting Jadeja's left-arm offerings perfectly, but both bat well enough that they would be considered for top-order postings in many test nations.

The final two places will probably go to pace bowlers for the first match at Indore. The three vying for the two positions, Mohammad Shami, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav, have all shown enough in recent matches to suggest that they are worthy of a start. Three into two won't go however, and I fear that Ishant may be the unfortunate party here.

Umesh will look to bustle in and hit the pick hard, whilst the craft of Shami will prove the perfect foil to both he and the spinners.

The only test match to be played at Indore, the 2016 encounter with New Zealand, saw India employ a common formula on home soil.

Their mammoth first innings of 557 for five was built upon a 365-run fourth wicket stand between Kohli and Rahane, before Ashwin's thirteen wickets for 140 spun India to a huge 321-run victory.

The day/night format may keep the scores closer on this occasion, but the elephant in the room may be the brittle nature of the Bangladeshi middle-order, especially when compared with India's settled top six.

Whilst Bangladesh have begun to show the propensity for upsetting test cricket's major nations in recent years, and come to the test series on the back of a creditable showing in the 20/20 series, it would take everything to go right for them to win this series.

Such results have been occurring ever since David slew Goliath however, and it's well worth watching whenever that happens.

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