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Saturday, Dec 14, 2019

India vs Bangladesh: In his own inimitable way, how Ajinkya Rahane wrested back momentum

Ind vs Ban: At Lunch, India were once again bossing proceedings and while Mayank eyes his 3rd Test century, it was a session which stood out for Rahane’s intent and his way of asking Bangladesh to back off.

cricket Updated: Nov 15, 2019 12:17 IST
Manish K Pathak
Manish K Pathak
Indore
India's Mayank Agarwal, right, and batting partner Ajinkya Rahane run between the wickets to score during the second day of first cricket test match between India and Bangladesh in Indore.
India's Mayank Agarwal, right, and batting partner Ajinkya Rahane run between the wickets to score during the second day of first cricket test match between India and Bangladesh in Indore.(AP)
         

Day 2 started with a number of boundaries and Bangladesh looked rather deflated. Mominul was in a quandary - he knew he had to pick up wickets to stay afloat, but he could not afford to leak runs as well. This was the conundrum which faced him and as a result, he resorted to a rather defensive field. His fast bowlers were dishing out few docile deliveries every over and this gave India a solid start.

INDIA VS BANGLADESH - 1ST TEST - DAY 2 - LIVE UPDATES

Pujara absolutely feasts on short and wide deliveries, he was given just that as he hopped to his 50. However, Abu Jayed learnt his lesson and started bowling full and Pujara went fishing outside off stump to full ball and nicked it to slip. The crowd roared to welcome Virat Kohli, who took guard. However, he was sent packing for a duck by Abu Jayed, who looked the pick of the bowlers. An ordinary start had suddenly become a good one for Bangladesh and their huddle was much tighter.

Out walked Rahane, the crowd still not able to figure out what has happened, and in his own inimitable manner, the right-hander took guard, sussed the field and went about his business. Two boundaries flowed, both of them streaky through the slip cordon. There was visible energy in the Bangladesh camp, they had a spring to their stride and this is when Rahane stepped up.

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After a jittery start, he pumped Abu Jayed through extra cover, then marched down the pitch to drive one straight past the bowler. It was a statement of intent, the number 1 side would not be cornered and the vice-captain was here to let everyone know that.

Mayank picked it up from the other end, he stood tall to a short ball and thwacked it between mid-wicket and mid on and just like that, the short period of dominance from Bangladesh was swatted away. Rahane was not done yet, he smashed Taijul through covers and the partnership was well on its way.

As the session drew to a close, the right-hander faced an injury scare when he was down on his back with the physio tending to his right leg. There was brief pause, much like the way there was a pause when Kohli was dismissed, but the vice-captain sprung back to life to take charge of the mantle, much like the way he drove the session.

At Lunch, India were once again bossing proceedings and while Mayank eyes his 3rd Test century, it was a session which stood out for Rahane’s intent and his way of asking Bangladesh to back off.