Never the one to underestimate opposition, Indian captain Virat Kohli on Wednesday said Bangladesh have it in them to become a force in the Test arena provided they play the five-day format more often.
Kohli made the observation in the pre-match press conference of the one-off Test against the neighbours starting on Thursday.
“I think they have the skill they just don’t play that many Test matches to gain confidence as a squad. It’s very basic. They have become a very good one-day side because of the fact that they play so many ODIs and they have their set combinations. If you don’t play Test cricket very often, you will never understand the mindset. That’s where it comes from,” Kohli said.
“They have beaten all the sides in one-day cricket, because they know how to play the format. You can practice as much as you want but game time is important. Ability is going to be there. It’s the mindset that changes from format to format,” he added.
“I am sure that if they play more Test cricket they will become solid Test players and a solid Test team as well. I think it should be pushed. They certainly have the ability to compete at the Test level.”
Kohli also backed the idea of Bangladesh touring India more often for bilateral series terming the one-off match as a historic moment.
“They haven’t come to India much is what I have recently found out. We’ve gone to Bangladesh quite a bit but they have never been to India for a bilateral before this. So yes, it is a historic moment for both teams and the countries as well. I hope this can happen much more. We have gone there too many times, they should come here more often.
“It will be great for them to come and play here in India. India is a great place to play cricket. They will enjoy it. I think it should happen more often. It is a special occasion. I just happen to be the captain at this time. But it will be a special day.”
Kohli praised Bangladesh’s batting and said that it will be a battle of equals especially after their batting performance in New Zealand.
“It’s an equal battle. You can’t discount Bangladesh batting as well. They were outstanding in New Zealand. It was an outstanding effort to score more than 350 runs in one day, it’s phenomenal going at 4.5 runs an over throughout the day, something very special. So we can’t take any aspect of their team lightly. They have quality cricketers.
“The only way you can win Test matches is by persistence and application and discipline. I think we are going to focus on those things and not as skill battles in particular. We want a complete team application,” he stated.