When Bangladesh toured India for a Test match for the first time, a placid batting beauty awaited them in Hyderabad. It was a pitch where there were runs – lots – to be scored and it looked like the spinners could come into play, but only later in the script.
All that happened, but though the numbers don’t quite tell the story, it was Umesh Yadav who provided the spectators with perhaps the most intriguing spectacle.
India won the toss and batted first. Murali Vijay scored 108. Cheteshwar Pujara 83. Virat Kohli 204. Ajinkya Rahane 82. Wriddhiman Saha 106 not out. Ravindra Jadeja 60 not out. That helped a declaration come about at 687/6 after 166 overs.
There was time enough on the second day for 14 overs in the Bangladesh reply. Time enough for Yadav to send a screamer in to Soumya Sarkar, the left-handed opener, at 142kph, and catch the bottom edge through to Saha behind the stumps.
The third morning began with Tamim Iqbal and Mominul Haque in the middle. In the third over of the morning, with the batsmen attempting to run a two off Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yadav swooped in at deep backwards square-leg and sent in a flat, powerful throw to the bowler, who whipped off the bails with Iqbal well short.
That made it 44/2, which became 64/3 when Yadav was at it again, this time getting one to pitch as far up as possible, move in just a bit, and thud into Haque’s pads.
Yadav didn’t pick up another wicket till much later, the eighth of the innings when the total was 339. But, before that, for the longest time after Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim got together for the fifth wicket, till he couldn’t go on any more, he bowled like a dream. At pace, moving the ball around in the air, more than an Indian had in recent memory. And when he could get it to reverse, he was even more threatening, leaving Hasan in all sorts of tangles, which he did well to get out of.
As it transpired, Yadav finished with 3/84 as Bangladesh rode on Rahim’s 127 and half-centuries from Hasan and Mehidy Hasan to put up 388. That gave India a lead of 299, but they batted again. The bowlers had sent in 127.5 overs, after all.
Quick scoring, led by a 58-ball 54 not out from Cheteshwar Pujara, helped India declare on 159/4 and set Bangladesh a target of 459.
With around four sessions left on a wearing pitch, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were always going to be in business, and they were, picking up four wickets each to give India victory by 208 runs in the final session of the game as Bangladesh got to 250.