HYDERABAD: Deja vu. A phenomenon of having the strong sensation that an event or experience currently being experienced has already been experienced in the past. That's what happened on Day 1 of the India-Bangladesh Test at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium.
First it was Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara, who bludgeoned the bowlers and put together a partnership of 178 for the second wicket. Virat Kohli took over after that and in the company of Ajinkya Rahane, ensured that the visitors went back staring at the prospect of chasing a huge total.
Coming back to Vijay and Pujara, something similar had taken place four years ago at the same venue when India played Australia. Vijay and Pujara had hammered the opposition and strung together 370 runs on way to registering highest Test scores of 167 and 204, respectively. The difference on Thursday was both did not get hundreds. Pujara was sent back on 83 and Vijay must be ruing throwing his wicket away after completing a ninth century.
The pitch lived up to expectations of being placid on the first day. Apart from some initial movement for the pacers ? especially Taskin Ahmed ? bowlers didn't get much assistance. After KL Rahul paid the price of trying to reach out to a widish delivery without moving his feet in the first over, it was one-way traffic.
After the dismissal of Pujara, Kohli put the attack to sword and brought up a 16th hundred. In imperious form, the skipper did not put a foot wrong during his unbeaten innings of 111. The Delhi batsman now has three hundreds and two fifties in the last five Tests. Along with Rahane, he scored at a brisk pace in the last session and put together 150 runs in 32 overs to take India to a formidable position.?
The aggression we played with was really heartening. It wasn't planned. The batsmen found their groove and scored freely,? Vijay said after the day's play. Bangladesh, who have a decent pace battery in ODIs, missed the services of 'mystery man' Mustafizur Rahman, who is recovering after a shoulder surgery. Tajiul Islam bowled tight lines, but the batsmen dealt well with the left-arm spinner. Taskin, who looked the most sorted, was hit for a few boundaries towards the end of the day.
In general, all the other bowlers leaked runs right from the start. It wasn't just the Tigers' day, as they found it tough to create opportunities. They were eager to get Kohli and the desperation showed, when skipper Mushfiqur Rahim asked for a review, after the ball had clearly hit the batsman's bat, rather than the pad.
Here on, Bangladesh will have to try and contain the run flow, so that the match does not slip completely out of grip. ?Virat has a plan in his mind on how to go about the match. All I can say is we would just look to improve our performance here,? Vijay concluded. A tough road ahead for the Bangla boys, for sure.