India took full advantage of an inexplicable decision by Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar to put them in on a batting paradise, and ended day one on 326 without loss of any wicket in the second and final Test in Dhaka today (Friday).
Indian openers took the gift by Bangladesh captain with both hands and punished the depleted Bangladesh attack under exhausting conditions on a placid surface. After seeing the early hours with caution, Indian openers Wasim Jaffer and Dinesh Karthik dominated the rest part of the day with stroke full innings and shared a record breaking 175 run opening partnership to put India in the driving seat.
Wasim Jaffer, fresh from a Test pair, hammered an elegant 138 off 229 deliveries with 17 boundaries before becoming the second victim of grueling condition. His opening partner Dinesh Karthik was first to go after making 82 off 153 deliveries as hot and humid Mirpur conditions emerged as the most potent opponent to the Indian batsmen.
After the return of the openers to the pavilion, the Indian skipper Rahul Dravid joined the run feast and remained unbeaten on 88 to guide India to a commanding position at stumps.
However, fans' and journalists remained baffled at the end of the day as the mysterious decision of Bangladesh skipper was beyond any cricketing explanations. It is interesting to note that in all previous occasions when Bangladesh won the toss at home, they decided to bat first.
After offering India to use the batting paradise first, Bashar's unimaginative and defensive field setting further dented Bangladesh's hope of remaining alive in the game. The captain positioned himself in the third man and opened the field to let singles flow; Indian batsmen gracefully milked the hapless Bangladeshi bowling taking full toll of the mistakes.
Bangladesh also failed to capitalize on their opportunities, and dropped vital catches in the early on in the Indian innings. Karthik was dropped at 10 by Shakib Al Hasan at second slip when he edged a Syed Rasel delivery, and Mohammad Rafique failed to grab a simple return catch from Wasim Jaffer in his first over after lunch. Umpiring mistakes continued to haunt Bangladesh, and Daryl Harper failed to give Dinesh Karthik out who edged a Mohammad Sharif delivery to wicketkeeper Khaled Mashud.
Earlier, Bangladesh started the game with a depleted bowling attack as lanky paceman Shahadat Hossain missed out due to high fever and Mohammad Sharif, who last played Test in 2002, entered the fray. Bangladesh also picked Syed Rasel in place of Enamul Huq Jr to strengthen the pace bowling attack.
However, neither Sharif nor Rasel managed to pose any threat to Indian line-up with their military medium pace, and the bowling attack remained wicket less after 90 overs of play. Among Bangladeshi bowlers only Mashrafe Mortaza showed some character despite suffering ankle injury in his 10th over, but failed to do any damage to Indian party.