India vs Bangladesh 2019: Three takeaways from day one of the pink-ball Test at Kolkata
India dominated the opening day of the pink-ball Test against Bangladesh at Eden Gardens in Kolkata as Bangladesh’s woes continued even as the colour of the ball changed. Losing the toss was perhaps the only thing that went wrong for India on the day. But, that also worked to India’s advantage as they ran through the hapless Bangladesh batting line-up in 30.3 overs to roll them over for 106.
The Indian batsmen then ensured that they extended the advantage for the hosts. India ended the day on 174 for 3. After Mayank Agarwal (14) and Rohit Sharma (21) fell early for a change, Cheteshwar Pujara (55) and Virat Kohli (59 not out) hit half-centuries to give India a crucial 68-run lead with seven wickets in hand. In the process, Kohli also became the first Indian captain to reach 5,000 Test runs.
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Here are three key takeaways from the opening day’s play of India’s first-ever day-night Test.
#1. Ishant shows who’s the boss
Based on his experience in comparison to the other pacers, Ishant Sharma was naturally anointed as the leader of the pack after Zaheer Khan’s retirement. However, in the last few Tests he had taken up the role of keeping one end tight as Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and, lately, Umesh Yadav run through opponents.
On Friday, though Ishant, bowled as if he had a point to prove. He trapped Imrul Kayes lbw with one that came back in, a wicket-taking delivery that he had developed lately. Then, there were the leg-cutters that the lower-order found hard to deal with. Ishant then softened up the batsmen, and then cleaned up a couple who completely played down the wrong line. The lanky fast bowler finished with 5 for 22, only his second five-for that home in 12 years, but one that was well deserved.
#2. Red or pink, pace does the trick
There were apprehensions about how the pink ball would behave. And, Ishant did admit after the game that the ball wasn’t swinging much early on. But, it was only a matter of time before the pacers found the right line, and after that the Bangladesh batsmen did not have the wherewithal to stand up against the quality Indian pace attack. While Ishant starred with his five-for, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav also made significant contributions. Both got prodigious movement, and picked up the other five wickets to fall. It was only the fourth occasion at home that the pacers had taken all 10 wickets to fall.
Bangladesh batsmen did seem a bit uncomfortable with the pink ball as both Mohammad Mithun and Mushfiqur Rahim were late on the ball. While Mithun inside edged one on to the stumps, Rahim played on.
#3. Flying Indians
In the build up to the Test, Kohli had stated that fielding would be the biggest challenge with the pink ball. Well, the Indian fielders must have left Kohli somewhat pleasantly surprised with a spectacular fielding effort. First, Rohit dived in front of first slip to take a stunning one-handed catch and send back skipper Bangladesh skipper Mominul Haque. Then, Wriddhiman Saha dived to his right and pulled off an acrobatic take to dismiss Mahmudullah. The ball was dying as it neared him, but Saha, even at full stretch, ensured his gloves were under the ball.
Cheteshwar Pujara’s catch wasn’t as spectacular, but he picked up a sharp one as well, diving forward at square-ish midwicket to send back concussion-replacement Mehidy Hasan Miraz, who came in for Liton Das, after the latter was hit on the helmet by Shami.Published 23 Nov 2019, 00:05 IST