Kuldeep, Siraj put Bangladesh on mat

Chattogram, Dec 15 (PTI) Kuldeep Yadav sizzled with an all-round show while Mohammed Siraj ran through the Bangladesh top order as the duo put India firmly in the driver’s seat on day two of the opening Test here on Thursday.

Playing his first Test after more than 22 months, Kuldeep continued his ‘birthday’ party a day after turning 28, in his sensational run with the bat and the ball. Kuldeep first came up with a career-best 40 from 114 balls in a 92-run eighth wicket partnership with veteran Ravichandran Ashwin (58) to push India to 404 in their first inning from an overnight score of 278/6.

At stumps on day two, Bangladesh were 133 for eight, trailing India by 271 runs. With two wickets in hand, the hosts still need 72 runs to avoid a follow-on.

“I was a bit nervous, I was very lucky to get the first wicket in the first over. Got the momentum back. After a couple of overs, I started feeling well, mixed my pace and variations, tried both the angles – over the wicket and round the wicket,” Kuldeep said after the end of day’s play.

“I was getting proper turn, I was actually loving it. After I got injured, I started working on my rhythm, trying to be a bit quicker – that’s helping me a lot. I am not compromising with the spin,” he added.

Introduced into the attack in the 25th over, the left-arm wrist spinner struck on his second ball as he flummoxed the Bangladesh batters with his wrong ones to end the day with figures of 10-3-33-4, a performance that is certain to boost his confidence.

However, it was Siraj who began the proceedings with a wicket off the very first ball of the innings, when he induced an edge from Najmul Hossain Shanto (1) with an away going delivery. Stumper Rishabh Pant dived on his left to grab the edge.

The Indian quick, who was on a song, rattled the Bangladesh top-order and later dismissed Zakir Hasan (20) and Litton Das (24) to end the day with impressive figures of 9-1-14-3.

Both teams were also involved in a bit of banter especially after Das gave a ‘I can’t hear you’ gesture after an elegant drive off Siraj.

The Indian pacer cleaned him up in the next delivery as he along with Virat Kohli gave him a fiery send-off. On a roll, Siraj also ended the dogged resistance of Hasan to reduce Bangladesh to 56/4.

The stage was perfect for Kuldeep to make inroads and the Indian did just that, dismissing rival skipper Shakib Al Hasan when he played against the spin.

He then surprised newcomer Nurul Hasan with a wrong’un and in the next ball nearly dismissed him LBW but the ‘umpire’s call’ rule gave the Bangladesh wicketkeeper a reprieve.

It was not a rank-turner but he spun the ball square, extracted awkward bounce and the Bangladeshi batters looked all at sea while negotiating Kuldeep at the fag end of the day.

The opening session was all about Ashwin and Kuldeep who seized the opportunity with both hands coming up with an all-round show.

Kuldeep, who has a century and six fifties averaging 22-plus in first class cricket, got off the mark after 18 balls as he looked solid with his defence.

His slog sweep and reverse sweep shots also caught the attention in his knock off 114 balls with five fours.

Ashwin, who has five Test centuries including four against the West Indies, showed a lot of composure and maturity en route to his 13th Test fifty. Ashwin smashed two sixes and two fours in his 113-ball knock.

Ashwin made his intent clear stepping down to Mehidy for a six. Luck also favoured Ashwin when he survived an ‘umpire’s call’ after left-arm spinner Taijul Islam had him trapped in front of the leg stump when he was on 34.

The duo hardly put a foot wrong after India lost overnight batter Shreyas Iyer (86) with the addition of just four runs to his total. After taking India out of a tricky spot on the opening day, Iyer missed out on scoring his second Test hundred.

That pace spearhead Ebadot Hossain was taken out of the attack after his impressive spell of 4-1-7-1 in the morning helped the Indian cause.

Source: PTI News


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