Despite winning the crucial toss, Bangladesh were left staring down the barrel in the first Test in Indore after an utterly dominant Day One display by India.
The visitors were unable to make the most of their decision to bat first and were bundled out for a mere 150 runs as India’s bowlers ran riot.
In reply, India had reached 86-1 in their first innings before stumps were drawn for the first day. A stellar bowling display by India’s pacers was at the heart of their commanding show on Thursday, and it is where we start off on our talking points.
Indian pacers are at it again
Visiting teams no longer need to be wary of just India’s spin prowess as South Africa learned the hard way only recently. India’s pacers have become an equally effective, if not more potent option on home conditions of late, and they were at it again on Day One in Indore.
Skipper Virat Kohli elected to go in with a three-man pace attack and that ploy paid dividends as they blew away Bangladesh’s top-order in a jiffy.
Having elected to bat first, the visitors were soon reduced to 31-3 in the morning session, with Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami getting among the wickets.
Skipper Mominul Haque and wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim offered some brief resistance for the Tigers thereon with a 68-run stand for the fourth wicket. However, once Ravi Ashwin broke that defiance from the pair, the Indian pacers were all over the Bangla batsmen like a pack of vultures.
Shami picked up two wickets in as many deliveries just at the stroke of tea, before Ishant and Umesh cleaned up the tail in the final session. Together, the pace trio picked up seven of the 10 Bangladesh wickets to fall with India’s spinners relegated to a secondary role.
Ashwin’s home 250
While the Indian pacers had their day in the sun in Indore, Ashwin’s wily spell of off-spin fetched its due rewards as well. Despite bowling with some excellent craft, the 33-year-old was frustratingly denied a couple of wickets early on after some shambolic catching by India’s slip fielders.
In total, four catches were dropped by the Indian slip cordon, with Rahane alone accounting for three of them. However, there would be no stopping Ashwin ultimately as he took matters into his own hands after lunch.
The off-spinner gave India the much-needed breakthrough by castling the stumps of Bangladesh skipper Mominul Haque in the second session of the day. That was Ashwin’s 250th Test dismissal on home soil in what was his 42nd appearance, and he is now the joint-fastest to attain that feat along with former Sri Lanka spin ace Muttiah Muralitharan.
Soon after, Ashwin had his second scalp of the day with the India spinner once again taking the fielders out of the equation. It was the important dismissal of Mahmudullah with the Bangladesh stalwart missing his attempted sweep shot to be clean-bowled.
Rohit’s failure the only blot on India’s perfect day
It was a day which clearly belonged to India though the same couldn’t be said of Rohit Sharma, who fell cheaply on his 350th international appearance.
The India opener perished for just six runs while attempting an extravagant drive through the covers, with Abu Jayed finding his outside edge with a hint of deviation.
It was the first time that Rohit had been dismissed for a single-digit score in Test cricket since he took up his new role as an opening batsman. His fellow opener Mayank Agarwal and Cheteshwar Pujara ensured that there would be no further damage for India, with the pair adding an unbeaten 72-run stand for the second wicket.
Agarwal and Pujara were imperious in their vigil at the crease, with the former’s only moment of weakness coming towards the close of play. Jayed should have had a second wicket when he found Agarwal’s outside edge but the Bangladesh pacer was left dismayed after Imrul Kayes shelled a regulation catch at first slip.
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