Murali Vijay, Virat Kohli expose Bangladesh cricket team’s inexperience on Day 1
Murali Vijay scored his ninth Test century while Virat Kohli’s unbeaten 111 and Cheteshwar Pujara’s 88 have placed India cricket team in a commanding position (356/3) after Day 1 of the Test vs Bangladesh Cricket teamcricket Updated: Feb 09, 2017 19:50 IST
A brief moment of hesitation in the 19th over could have robbed Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara of a chance to enter the record books on Thursday. It could also have been a different story for India as they were beginning to consolidate at 66 for 1. (Day 1 Highlights)
Vijay worked the ball to square leg and even before deciding on whether to run or not, Kamrul Islam Rabbi made a sterling effort to stop the ball. Pujara had bolted into the opener’s territory. Helpless, Vijay ran to the bowler’s end, giving himself half a chance.(Scorecard)
The nerves of playing their first Test in India showed up. Mehedi Hasan Miraz, playing just his fifth match, failed to collect Rabbi’s throw and Vijay was relieved.
“We need to work that out. I am going to have a chat with him (Pujara) just now,” joked Vijay after the match.
Vijay went on to score his ninth Test century. Importantly, with Pujara, he added 178 runs to set a platform for Virat Kohli, whose century pushed India to 356 for three at stumps.
It is the fifth time this season the two have notched up a century partnership, which is a record for an India pair. Pujara made 83 and Vijay 108.
They went past Rusi Modi-Vijay Hazare’s record of four in a season which came just after Independence.
Barring that moment, Vijay had kind words for Pujara. “He has a solid game. He makes things easy for me.”
Both of them took time to settle down but were helped by the anxiety that had crept into the Bangladesh bowlers. Kohli had said on Wednesday how Bangladesh might struggle due to lack of Tests under their belt. He had talked about the ‘Test mindset’.
On a wicket that had lost juice in the first session itself, the Bangladesh pacers, mainly Kamrul, resorted to short bowling once the Indian duo began to stonewall them. The short balls were punished, getting dispatched to the fence quite frequently.
Pacer Taskin Ahmed admitted they erred in length. “We (Kamrul and he) are inexperienced to bowl on these surfaces.”
Notwithstanding that run out opportunity, the two ran between the wickets well --- Vijay getting 50% of his runs and Pujara much less than that through boundaries. They also targeted the weak link, Kamrul, who conceded 58 runs to the two in just 70 balls.
It helps that they are one-format players and think alike even though it is only on the field.
“As I play one format, I have got a decent hang of it,” conceded Vijay.
“It is an honour to move in his (Pujara’s) company and pick his brains. We are two totally different characters but once we go in the middle, we enjoy the company and enjoy each other’s success,” he said.
The partnership ended when Pujara tried to cut offie Mehedi Hasan but got an edge. Vijay was expected to continue the good work with Virat. Known for providing a solid knock at the start of every series, Vijay was bowled around his legs by left-arm spinner Taijul Islam. It was a loose shot but he had done his job allowing his skipper to take charge.