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Dhawan, Vijay power India on opening day

Left-hand batsman races to third Test ton, visiting side ends truncated opening day on 239 without loss against Bangladesh

Dhawan, Vijay power India on opening day - Cricket News
The Indian opening pair gave the opposition no chances, racing to 239 on a rain-interrupted first day.
Rain and overcast skies were the dominating landscape on the first day of India’s only Test against Bangladesh, but on Wednesday (June 10), even the elements had to cede centre stage to Shikhar Dhawan, all fluidity and grace in raising his third Test century, and M Vijay, a picture of concentration and unflappability in his unbeaten 178-ball 89.
Dhawan came to the middle at the Khan Saheb Stadium in Fatullah attired in whites, but played as if in one-day mode. On a truncated day that saw only 56 overs bowled, he raced to a century off 101 balls, taking India to 239 without loss at the close of play, 132 coming off 32.3 overs after a four-hour rain delay that encompassed early lunch and tea. By the end, Dhawan had 150 off 158 balls to complete a triumphant comeback to the Test side after having been benched in favour of KL Rahul in the last Test of India’s tour of Australia.
At the other end, Vijay was batting in his own zone. Where any other batsman would have been tempted to lay into the friendly bowling and match his partner’s scoring rate, Vijay stayed true to the template that has brought him so much success in the past two years, beginning patiently, staying patient, and opening out only when he had his eye well in. In a strong opening stand, Vijay’s contribution was as important as his partner’s more flamboyant essay. That his first 30 balls had brought just five runs was indicative of how well he had stepped up his scoring rate later in his knock.

The match began under overcast skies, but Bangladesh included only one regular pacer in Mohammad Shahid. India, on the other hand, had all three of Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron, going in with five bowlers. Cheteshwar Pujara was the batsman to miss out, while the spinning duties rested with R Ashwin and the returning Harbhajan Singh, who had last played a Test in March 2013.
Bangladesh had four spinners in the line-up, and would have hoped to win the toss and bat first. But when the coin fell Virat Kohli’s way instead of Mushfiqur Rahim’s, it would have had an inkling that it would be in for a potentially long haul.
Before rain interrupted India’s innings at 107 for no loss in 23.3 overs, Bangladesh had some moments where it troubled India's openers. Vijay was rapped on the pads early on, in just the second over, but Kumar Dharmasena, the umpire, wasn’t interested.
Then, a ball before the rain break, Dhawan pushed at a Taijul Islam delivery early and the ball popped up to Shuvagata Hom at straightish short midwicket. Though the fielder got both hands to the ball tumbling forward, he couldn’t hold on. When the skies opened up to force an early lunch, Dhawan was on 74 off 71, Vijay 33 off 70.

Mushfiqur, playing this match as a pure batsman with the gloves given to Litton Das for a debut, had a side that boasted several men who could turn their arms over, but India didn't let them settle. Shahid was taken off after five overs in which he had given up 25 runs despite two maidens. Sarkar, whose part-time medium pace was pressed into service to share the new ball, got only two overs. Hom, the offspinner, was taken off after 5-0-24-0 and even the reliable Shakib Al Hasan had a first spell of 6-0-23-0.
The stadium did its best to liven up the home team’s spirits, but neither Dhawan nor Vijay were in an obliging mood.
The break too did nothing to affect the openers’ focus, and both men simply carried on from where they had left off without breaking sweat.
In the opening half hour, Bangladesh had gotten away with some quiet overs as the batsman adjusted to the conditions. Once Dhawan hit Shahid for three fours in his fourth over – the seventh of the innings – he was up and away.
Both batsmen will have every reason to be very happy with their performances at the end of the day while Bangladesh will look to start afresh on Thursday.

To see the full scorecard, click here.

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