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India Must Win Against Bangladesh To Be In Race For ICC Test Championship Final

There is so much at stake in the two-Test series against Bangladesh that starts at Chattogram on December 14. India is placed fourth in the ICC Test Championship race for the 2021-23 cycle; it should be recalled that India lost to New Zealand in the final of the inaugural Test championship at Southampton last year. India, to be led by K L Rahul — in the absence of the injured Rohit Sharma — cannot afford to lose to Bangladesh.  Only wins against Bangladesh will keep India in the fray; Australia is topping the leader board and it needs small points to assure itself of a place in the final. In fact, only positive results against Bangladesh will keep the home series against Australia in February-March alive. India is scheduled to play four Tests against Australia. Apart from Australia, the others in the running for the title match are South Africa and Sri Lanka which are placed second and third on the points table. Pakistan has virtually seen its hopes vanish following the Test series loss to England, which again is not really in the running. India’s problem is that it doesn’t have Sharma, fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammad Shami. It’s going to be a tough for the stand-in skipper Rahul who said: “We know where we stand and what we need to do to qualify for the final.’’