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Indore game over in 3 days, India to work on twilight saga

60 points from this victory take India’s tally to 300, giving them a lead at the top of the table.

By Sayak Banerjee in Indore

  • Published 17.11.19, 1:34 AM
  • Updated 17.11.19, 1:34 AM
Umesh Yadav
Umesh Yadav (PTI)

The way Bangladesh openers Shadman Islam and Imrul Kayes walked out to bat, after India declared their first innings on the overnight total of 493 for six, their body language suggested they were two helpless individuals, unwilling to face the challenges that lay ahead.

As expected, India took little time to see off the pair and eventually walloped Bangladesh by an innings and 130 runs inside three days in the first Test here at the Holkar Stadium, and lead 1-0 in the two-match series.

As for the World Test Championship, 60 points from this victory take India’s tally to 300, giving them what seems like an insurmountable lead at the top of the table.

But such flawless was India’s game that Virat Kohli, the victorious skipper, seemed to be at a loss of words after the match.

“Don’t know what to say… Another clinical performance,” a beaming Kohli said during the post-match presentation.

For the record, Kohli is now the India captain with most innings wins (10), surpassing his predecessor Mahendra Singh Dhoni (9).

“We’ve been very professional with the bat. Playing five batsmen with one guy taking responsibility is what we want with overseas tours coming up. Hats off to the boys,” the skipper said.

That may not have been possible without the services of his pacers. “These guys

(fast bowlers) are on top of their game. When they bowl, it looks like any pitch is a good, helpful pitch. Jasprit (Bumrah) isn’t here, but this is a dream combination.

“Having strong bowlers is the most important thing for any team,” Kohli assessed.

The goal is to keep pushing the standards of Indian cricket up, Kohli said. “We’re looking at keeping the standards up, motivating the next lot of players... In that process, we’re pushing up the standards of Indian cricket,” he said.

India’s batting has been equally impressive. Elaborating on his role as a senior batsman in the side, Kohli added: “The mindset is simple. When you see a young guy coming in to bat, it’s important as a senior batsman to let him know how to keep going. In order to make the young guys world-class cricketers, I don’t want them to make the mistakes I made as a youngster.”

Coming back to the game, it was all about the India pacers on Saturday. Just as they did in the first essay, they shared seven wickets among them with Mohammed Shami taking four.

Ravichandran Ashwin too had a fair bit of bowling practice, snaring the rest of the wickets.

Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Shami were outstanding in their job.

The very first ball on Saturday that Ishant bowled to Shadman had extra bounce coupled with movement, while the stuff dished out by Bangladeshi pacers Abu Jayed Rahi and Ebadot Hossain on Day II rarely climbed above the batsmen’s waists.

In other words, the contest turned out to be a complete mismatch, also underlining how some of the recent results have been an absolute mockery of Test cricket.

Precisely, against the current Indian team, Bangladesh, without Shakib-al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal and even Mustafizur Rahman, looked more like a club side.

The teams will now head to Calcutta on Tuesday for the historic pink-ball Test. But will the Day-Night Test last till the third day?

Pink practice

India are quite serious about not letting their guard down. Kohli and his boys have decided to stay back in Indore and practise with the pink ball during the twilight hours over the next couple of days.

The under-fire Bangladesh team too will be having a

training session on Sunday evening.

“The pink-ball Test is going to be exciting and will be a challenge for the batsmen. With the older ball, it doesn’t swing that much, so the bowlers too will have a challenge ahead of them. We’re just happy to be among the first to play pink-ball cricket for India,” Kohli said.

India might not have prior experience of playing with the pink ball, but their game is in the pink of health at the moment. And that matters.