Mirpur, December 22
Umesh Yadav’s incisive spells with the old ball and Ravichandran Ashwin’s controlled effort put India in complete command as Bangladesh were bowled out for a below-par 227 on the opening day of the second Test here on Thursday.
At stumps, India reached 19 for no loss with skipper KL Rahul batting on 3 off 30 balls in company of Shubman Gill (14 batting, 20 balls).
Some of the balls bowled by Bangladeshi spinners were turning square and the decision to drop last Test’s player of the match Kuldeep Yadav is looking a controversial one.
When Bangladesh batted, Umesh (4/25 in 15 overs) led the Indian pace attack manfully while Ashwin (4/71 in 21.5 overs) closed in on a career-haul of 450 wickets (447 currently) on a day when Jaydev Unadkat’s (2/50 in 16 overs) return to Test fold after 12 long years did stir up fair amount of debate about some selection calls taken by this team management.
However, Unadkat could term himself lucky as last game’s hero Kuldeep (8 wickets and 40 runs) was unceremoniously dumped by the team management comprising the two Rahuls—head coach Dravid and skipper Kannaur Lokesh (KL).
The pitch was termed to be a confusing one by skipper Rahul at the toss which prompted them to pick an extra seam bowler in Unadkat.
The decision didn’t backfire because of the inferior quality of Bangladesh batting line-up more than anything else.
Former skipper Mominul Haque (84, 157 balls) was the only batter who showed admirable patience for more than four hours but he hardly enjoyed any support from the other end.
Zakir Hasan (15) and Najmul Hosain Shanto (24) added 39 for the first wicket but more importantly saw off the morning spell from Umesh and Mohammed Siraj (0/39 in 9 overs).
It was Unadkat who got the first breakthrough when the ball bounced a tad more and was caught in the slips.
However, the Saurashtra player bowled a better delivery to get the stodgy Mushfiqur Rahim when he came round the wicket and angled one into the batter. The ball straightened enough after pitching as it completely squared up Rahim.
Unadkat, who made his debut against South Africa at Centurion in December 2010, returned to Test format after a gap of 12 years. In between, he missed 118 matches, the highest by an Indian and the second highest in world cricket.
However, the most impressive bowler for India was Umesh, who consistently pitched the ball up. What was heartening to see was that along with his stock ball—the outswinger --, he has also developed a potent inswinger, one which he used to get rid of Nurul Hasan.
He also got important wickets of Shakib Al Hasan and Mehidy Hasan Miraz by bowling a probing channel and the slowness of the track did the rest.
Litton Das (25 off 26 balls) played an attacking knock which had two boundaries and a six but he couldn’t carry on the good work as he flicked a full length delivery from Ashwin straight to captain KL Rahul.
But, Mominul kept his calm and went about his business in a quiet fashion, hitting 12 fours and a six in the process.
It was Ashwin, who removed Mominul at the fag-end of the day when he shaped for an expansive drive and then decided to check his stroke but the ball kissed his gloves into Rishabh Pant’s gloves.
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