India were firmly on top against Bangladesh as the hosts piled on the runs to take a huge 343-run lead with four wickets in hand at the end of the second day of the first Test at the Holkar Stadium in Indore yesterday.
Mayank Agarwal, who was dropped on the first day by Imrul Kayes while on 32, made the Tigers pay with a fantastic innings of 243 -- his second double-century in two months after his double against South Africa in October -- to take the game away from the Tigers.
“I have got to make them pay. When you get a let-off, you make sure that you make them pay,” he said about what he felt after the dropped chance during a press conference yesterday. The Bangladesh bowlers had toiled away all day but except Abu Jayed, who bagged four wickets for 108 runs, none of the bowlers made any real impact as India upped the ante towards the close of play to reach 493 for six. The early morning session started well for Bangladesh when Jayed had struck twice, removing Chetshwar Pujara for 54 and India skipper Virat Kohli for a duck.
The pressure on the India batsmen however subsided when the pacers went off and the spinners were unable to make any impact on a sporting track. The pitch, as expected, also got better for batting.
“The wicket has something for the fast bowlers in the morning because of the moisture. They [Bangladesh] bowled well, were tight initially. We put away loose deliveries and that was our way of putting pressure. And later on, the pitch didn’t assist them and we captialised on them,” he mentioned.
Jayed picked up Ajinkya Rahane to break a 190-run fourth-wicket stand with Agarwal but Ravindra Jadeja came on to keep the runs ticking. When Agarwal finally fell to off-spinner Mehedi Hasan Miraz, Umesh Yadav took the attack to the cleaners with an aggressive unbeaten 10-ball 25 with Jadeja unbeaten on 60 to take India to stumps six wickets down.
Except Jayed, who hit the seam on a regular basis to extract help from the surface, Bangladesh’s other seamer Ebadot Hossain and the two spinners all went for runs.
Although not in the habit of picking pacers in Tests, Domingo insisted the Tigers will back the pacer after his impressive showing. “We think he is a really good Test bowler. He has consistent lines and lengths. He bowled really well in this game. I have read a few articles where it was written that he hasn’t picked up wickets in the domestic system, but we think he is one of our leading Test bowlers, and he will have a big role. He is definitely a guy we need to back.”
With three days still to go, the Tigers are staring at defeat. India are likely to bat one more session and ensure they do not need to bat again. Domingo was hopeful that an extraordinary innings from a Bangladesh batsman could do some good after the batting lineup crumbled in the first day for just 150 runs.
“It was a tough day. Full credit to India. They have absolutely dominated us in the last two days. Still three days to go. It is a very tough situation, but it provides a great opportunity for somebody to jump out of the box. There are so many guys who are averaging 20 or 30. We need somebody to make that big 100, 150, 200 like Mayank did today. So it is a great opportunity for our batters to do that in the second innings,” Domingo added.