The 36-year-old, India's most successful bowler in both forms of the game with 547 Test and 337 one-day wickets, did not bat or bowl in the rain-savaged first Test in Chittagong due to fever.
India lean so heavily on the veteran for wickets that the other bowlers allowed Bangladesh's ninth-wicket pair of Mashrafe Mortaza and Shahadat Hossain to put on 77 and save the follow-on, and with it the Test.
"Anil is a proven match-winner in any conditions," said Indian captain Rahul Dravid ahead of the decider at the Sher-e-Bangla national stadium, a new Test venue.
Both teams were praying for a rain-free match after bad weather in the port city of Chittagong wiped off 15 of the stipulated 30 hours of play in the drawn game.
"It is very frustrating when you lose half the match to rain," said Dravid. "There is little one can do about the weather but I just hope we get some good cricket in."
The teams will not be spared the stifling hot and humid weather which they have endured for the entire three-week tour, but can rely on good drainage facilities at the venue in case of rain.
"This ground dries up much faster than at Chittagong," said Bangladesh captain Habibur Bashar. "There is some forecast of rain but I think we can have a full game."
Bangladesh hope to put on a sterling display as a farewell gift for coach Dav Whatmore, who ends his four-year tenure with them after this match and is a leading candidate to sign up with India.
The Indian cricket board is due to meet on June 4 to pick a successor to Greg Chappell, the former Australian captain who quit as India's coach after the World Cup.
"The boys are very encouraged and motivated to do well in this match," said Bashar.
Bangladesh's fortunes rest on Mortaza, a gifted 23-year-old who was deservedly named man of the match in Chittagong for his 4-97 in India's first innings and a match-saving 79 with seven boundaries and three sixes.
New ball partner Hossain chipped in with five wickets and a career-best 31 with the bat.
India, for whom veterans Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly hit centuries, may retain the same side despite opener Wasim Jaffer's horrific first-over zeroes in both innings.
"Wasim is very keen to do well here," said Dravid. "It's not fair to judge someone by one match, he has done so well in the past."
The seasoned Venkatsai Laxman and left-hander Yuvraj Singh may once again be forced to sit out unless India reshuffle the batting or drop a fifth bowler.
India (from): Rahul Dravid (capt), Wasim Jaffer, Dinesh Karthick, Venkatsai Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Anil Kumble, Rudra Pratap Singh, Zaheer Khan, Vikram Rajvir Singh, Ramesh Powar, Rajesh Pawar, Ishant Sharma.
Bangladesh (from): Habibul Bashar (capt), Mohammad Ashraful, Javed Omar, Shahriar Nafees, Saqibul Hasan, Rajin Saleh, Tushar Imran, Khaled Mashud, Mohammad Rafique, Enamul Haque, Mashrafe Mortaza, Shahadat Hossain, Syed Rasel, Mehrab Hossain.
Umpires: Daryl Harper (AUS) and Billy Doctrove (WIS), TV umpire: Nadir Shah (BAN)
Match referee: Roshan Mahanama (SRI)