India v Bangladesh: Kohli, Vijay put India in driver's seat

Murali Vijay and his skipper Virat Kohli scored hundreds as India ascended to 356 for three on the opening day of the one-off Test against Bangladesh.

Murali Vijay and skipper Virat Kohli scored hundreds to pile on the runs against Bangladesh.   -  PTI

Murali Vijay carved out his ninth century, his second at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium and against Bangladesh on Thursday. Virat Kohli, as dominating as ever, slammed his 16th, incidentally his first against the neighbouring nation and at this venue. From such a bountiful harvest, India ascended to 356 for three on the opening day of the one-off Test.

SLIDESHOW: >Day one in pictures

STATS: >Pujara eclipses Borde; Kohli emulates Viswanath

Before the first such Test on Indian soil between the two commenced, the coin faced Kohli's way and he chose first strike. If it was to be a feast or famine with the openers, India had to settle for the latter. K. L. Rahul didn't middle the ball as he might have wanted to. The resultant inner edge off Taskin Ahmed, rarely slipping below 140 kmph in his opening sortie, hit the batsman's boot and ricocheted into the woodwork. That the middle stump was pegged back, after the ball changed course twice, showed there was still some steam left in the delivery.


Against that early blow to India's batting esteem, Cheteshwar Pujara provided the balm. Taskin extracted what he could from the little stubble left on the strip. After that tight five-over spell, he was taken off the firing line, perhaps to be preserved for another burst or two later. Kamrul Islam was persisted with from the pavilion end but came in for punishment from Vijay, who revelled in the flamingo pull every now and then.

> 'Pujara makes things easy for me', says Vijay

A late start to a single saw Vijay survive a run-out attempt. At square leg, Kamrul was swift to relay the ball to the bowler's end. IVijay was aeons away but Hasan, a little too anxious to break stumps, never got hold of the ball. The visitor went to lunch with the lone success of Rahul in the first session.

The surface showed its shirtfront self in the second, the afternoon sun making the bowler's task even more back-breaking. In such a scenario, a slight turn Mehedi managed proved most fruitful. The ball grazed Pujara's blade and bumped against stumper Mushfiqur's thigh. What Bangladesh's captain had failed to clutch in the first attempt, he grabbed with both gloves in the second.

Pujara and Vijay, who had a 370-run partnership in their last outing against Australia here in 2012-13, put on 178 in a 205-minute stay this time. Kohli arrived in the middle with a bring-it-on message to the bowlers, a boundary off the over's remaining ball and a couple more soon after underlining his intent. Not much later, the tourist's DRS appeal for an LBW verdict against him was turned down.

Vijay's advance to three figures was measured, the nineties marked by vigilance, if not diligence. A pat to backward of point brought up the landmark, which was followed by a wave of the bat at the dressing room. Shortly after, he took to one knee to sweep Taijul Islam, missed the line and was bowled around the legs. A dozen hits to the ropes and one over it had helped him along the way in a nearly four and a half hour stay.

Kohli's half century came off 70 balls and his century in 130, either half studded with five boundaries. The Indian skipper's march to the milestone took less than two and a half hours.

A second new ball was taken in the 82nd over, towards the fag end of the day didn't understandably pack the firepower of the first. If fast bowlers hunt in pairs, Bangladesh sorely lacked a second paceman. Kamrul's slingy action lost much of its sheen especially when straying from the straight and narrow.

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