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Moments from India vs Bangladesh Test history


India_Bangladesh_Test_CricketBangladesh’s World Test Championship campaign is underway, as they battle it out with India, the world’s top-ranked side, in the first Test of a two-match series at Indore. The second Test of the series, to be played at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens, will be the first day-night Test on Indian soil. Though this contest has been one-sided, what with India winning seven and losing none out of nine Tests, it has produced a few significant moments. Here is a look back at five such moments.

Tigers join the Test club – Only Test, Dhaka, 2000-01

November 10, 2000 was a historic day for Bangladesh, as it marked their maiden Test appearance. The Tigers faced India at the Bangabandhu National Stadium, and more than held their own for a large part of the match. Aminul Islam became the first Bangladeshi to score a Test hundred en route to an innings of 145 that consumed nearly nine hours. He received able support from Habibul Bashar (71) and the lower order, and carried the total to an impressive 400.

Captain Naimur Rahman (6/132) then troubled the Indian batsmen with his off-spin, on the way to becoming the first Bangladeshi to take five wickets in a Test innings. By reducing India to 236/6, Bangladesh had given themselves a real chance to dictate terms. However, Naimur’s opposite number Sourav Ganguly joined forces with Sunil Joshi, who had earlier taken 5/142 with his left-arm spin. The duo went on to revive the innings with a seventh-wicket stand of 121.

Ganguly fell for 84, giving Naimur his fifth wicket, while Joshi scored a career-best 92. Their efforts handed India a lead of 29, before the bowlers made short work of the Bangladeshi batting in the second innings. Only two batsmen reached double figures, as the hosts slumped from 32/1 to 53/5 before being bowled out for a paltry 91. India duly completed a nine-wicket win before the end of the fourth day, thus ensuring that Ganguly began his tenure as captain on a bright note.  

Zaheer’s unlikely record – First Test, Dhaka, 2004-05

The first Test of India’s 2004-05 tour to Bangladesh saw Sachin Tendulkar score his 34th Test hundred, which equalled the then record for the most number of Test tons held by his countryman Sunil Gavaskar. He converted it into a career-best 248*, which formed the cornerstone of India’s total of 526 after Bangladesh were bundled out for 184. Tendulkar put on 133 for the tenth wicket with Zaheer Khan, who notched a record Test score by a number eleven.

The left-arm pacer struck 75, bettering Richard Collinge’s 68* for New Zealand against Pakistan at Auckland in 1972-73 – the record has since been broken twice. Another left-arm pacer, Irfan Pathan, became the first Indian fast bowler to take more than ten wickets in an overseas Test. Following his 5/45 in the first innings, Pathan took another 6/51 in the second innings to help bowl Bangladesh out for 202 and secure India’s comprehensive win by an innings and 140 runs.

Ashraful achieves a national high – Second Test, Chittagong, 2004-05

Though the margin of defeat for Bangladesh was hardly any better in the second Test, there was a silver lining in the form of a stroke-filled century from Mohammad Ashraful. After Gautam Gambhir (139), Rahul Dravid (160) and Ganguly (88) had steered India to 540, Bangladesh were 54/3 when the 20-year-old came in to bat. He added 70 with captain Bashar for the fourth wicket and 115 with Aftab Ahmed for the fifth wicket, before finishing with 158* out of a total of 333.

Ashraful’s innings, which took only 194 balls, went past Aminul’s 145 in the inaugural Test as the highest Test score by a Bangladeshi batsman. This remained the record until 2012-13, when Ashraful himself scored 190 against Sri Lanka at Galle, which was in turn improved upon by Mushfiqur Rahim’s 200 later in the same innings. However, Bangladesh crumbled for 124 in just 26.4 overs as they followed on, with Pathan (5/32) taking his third five-wicket haul of the series.

A landslide victory for India – Second Test, Dhaka, 2007

This series decider, following a rain-hit draw at Chittagong, was the first Test to be played at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur. Bangladesh were sent on a leather hunt after deciding to field, as each of the top four in the Indian batting line-up registered a century. Openers Dinesh Karthik and Wasim Jaffer (138) ran up a stand of 175, which was broken when the former had to retire hurt at 82. Jaffer added another 106 with captain Rahul Dravid, before retiring ill himself.

Dravid motored along, putting on 127 with Tendulkar before being dismissed for 129 – the first wicket had seen 408 runs added by three different pairs. Karthik returned at this stage, and went on to score 129, while Tendulkar remained unbeaten on 122. India piled up a humungous 610/3, after which a beleaguered Bangladesh were bowled out for 118 (Zaheer taking 5/34) and 253. The massive winning margin of an innings and 239 runs remained as India’s biggest until 2018.     

Bangladesh’s first Test in India – Only Test, Hyderabad, 2016-17

It took more than 16 years for India to host Bangladesh in a Test match. Taskin Ahmed removed Lokesh Rahul in the first over, but there was little else to cheer for the Tigers thereafter. Murali Vijay (108) and Cheteshwar Pujara (83) combined for a second-wicket partnership of 178, and after their dismissals, captain Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane (82) took over with a fourth-wicket stand of 222. Kohli was sixth out at 569 for an excellent 204, but India were not done yet.

Wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha (106*) and Ravichandran Ashwin (60*) added 118 for the seventh wicket, swelling the total to 687/6. Bangladesh replied with 388, with wicketkeeper-captain Mushfiqur Rahim (127) and Shakib Al Hasan (82) being among the runs. Armed with a lead of 299, India declared their second innings at 159/4 at tea on the fourth day. The spin duo of Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja did the rest, taking four wickets apiece to seal India’s 208-run win.

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Rustom Deboo is a cricket aficionado and freelance writer from Mumbai. He is an ardent devotee of T...

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