Another day of Test cricket in India's long home season came to an end, and for the average cricket fan in the country, it was pretty much the same narrative as it has been for the last five months or so — the hosts dominating the proceedings to wrest control of the match.
Even though Bangladesh had their moments during the day, they cannot help but head back to their hotel on a disappointed note. Especially after the events on Day 2 of the one-off Test against India in Hyderabad on Friday. With opposition skipper Virat Kohli declaring on a mammoth total of 687/6, before breaking a steady opening stand between Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar by removing the latter, one cannot help but get the feeling of the Indians breathing down the visitors' necks, and taking out any hopes of a Bangladeshi win.
Barring KL Rahul, who was dismissed for a meagre 2 in the very first over of the match, every batsman made good use of the batting-friendly conditions that were on offer on the first two days. If captain Kohli ever had to stake claim for the crown of the best batsman across formats in the current era, his double-century in his latest outing would have been a perfect innings to back that claim.
While he entered the record books by becoming the first batsman in the history of the game to score at least one double-ton in four successive series', wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha joined the run-fest by becoming the third centurion in the innings after Murali Vijay and Kohli. That in addition to a couple of 80-odd scores for Cheteshwar Pujara (82) and Ajinkya Rahane (83), as well as a quickfire, unbeaten 60 for Ravindra Jadeja.
Who knows how things would have turned out if Bangladesh had taken the catches, completed the stumping chances and effected the run-outs. However, missed chances have contributed to some of the game's most historic passages of play in the game. Why should this be any different.
The Bangladeshi opening combination of Iqbal and Sarkar appeared in good touch at the start of their team's innings. Despite having to bat immediately after running around the field under the sun all day, the duo executed some superb strokes off India's new-ball combination of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma. However, Umesh Yadav's timely dismissal of Sarkar for 15, with Kohli putting the Decision Review System to great use, is sure to give the hosts the mental edge when they take to the field on Day 3.
With the pitch having mostly assisted the batsmen so far in the first couple of days, further deterioration seems to be in store when looking ahead at the match. The likes of Taijul Islam and Mehedi Hasan were getting decent turn during the Indian innings, which should excite India's 'spin twins' Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, currently on top of the ICC Test bowler's rankings.
A couple of early wickets are all that the Indians need to raise hopes of getting the visitors to bat again, if Kohli opts to do that, on Saturday. All said and done, a win is virtually something of a myth for the Bangladeshis as far as this game is concerned.