Only 56 overs were possible on the opening day of the one-off Test between India and Bangladesh at Fatullah. But, comeback man Shikhar Dhawan ensured that India had something to cheer about on an otherwise dull day as an entire session was ruined due to rain. In the overs that were possible, the left hander enjoyed himself against a hapless Bangladesh attack and remained unbeaten exactly on 150 from 158 balls at close of play. Accompanying him was Murali Vijay who was his usual sedate self, compiling 89 not out from 178 balls as India finished the day on an imposing 239 for no loss.
Bangladesh had lost half the battle even before the Test had gotten underway, thanks to some strange selection tactics. They filled their side with spinners on a surface that had something on offer for the faster men. And, after Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat first, the hosts were completely exposed. Of all the options they had at the disposal, Bangladesh decided to go in with Mohammad Shahid as the sole fast bowling option. This even though he had the likes of Taskin Ahmed and Rubel Hossain in their ranks, both of whom had an impressive World Cup.
Shahid’s limitations were completely exposed as he conceded 52 runs in his 12 overs without ever troubling the Indian openers. India were off to a somewhat jittery start, but they had luck on their side as a number of edges fell short of the fielders, thanks to the lack of bounce in the pitch. An edge each of Vijay and Dhawan did not carry to the fielder in the second and third over respectively. But, once they got their eye in, it was all too easy for Dhawan and Vijay.
Dhawan drove with ease, hitting Shahid for three fours in a over, which took him to top gear, and he stayed there for most part of the day. Dhawan got a little edgy in the 90s, and was almost dismissed by leg spinner Jubair Hossain. But, he overcame the tough period, and went on to register his third Test century. He carried on fluently thereafter, ending the day with an impressive tally of 21 runs. Vijay, at the other end, hit only eight four and a six. But, the glaring story of the day was Bangladesh insipid bowling effort, which was as gloomy as the weather conditions prevalent.
-- By A Cricket Analyst