India won by 208 runs against Bangladesh in the one-off Test at Hyderabad on the last day.
That’s the sixth successive series win for India, since the one in Sri Lanka 2015. Virat Kohli tucks a stump under his arm and leads his men off, he has led India to 19 matches without a defeat, going past Sunil Gavaskar’s record.
The only losses under his captaincy have been Adelaide 2014-15 and Galle 2015. On the batting front, he became the first player in Test history to hit double hundreds in four successive series, and also claimed the most runs in a home season, 1206.
Bangladesh put up a pretty good fight, playing out 100 overs in each innings. Only the sixth instance of them batting so long in a Test match. And if they had been better with some of the timing of their expansive shots, and placing a better price on their wickets, this could have been a little better.
India made steady strides towards sewing up the one-off Test against Bangladesh in Hyderabad by striking either side of a Jekyll-and-Hyde fifty stand between Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah.
Bangladesh, facing a steep chase of 459, needed to survive two more sessions to salvage a draw. The hosts needed five more wickets for victory.
Ravindra Jadeja, like a popgun, kept firing into the rough in an interrupted spell of 14-6-31-1, including the wicket of Shakib Al Hasan in the third over of the day. R Ashwin, who came into the attack an hour and 15 minutes into the day, struck with his fourth ball when Mushfiqur, who had been batting sensibly until then, stepped out and injudiciously hit over the top against the break and holed out at wide mid-off. His wicket exposed the inexperienced lower middle order and added to the list of inglorious Bangladesh dismissals in the recent past.
Mahmudullah, who moved to his first half-century in Test cricket since July 2015, and Sabbir Rahman, playing only his fifth Test, then pushed Bangladesh to lunch without any further damage.
The rough outside the left-hand batsmen’s off stump lent itself to spin, and Jadeja had been pounding it relentlessly from the fourth day. On the fifth morning, he got one to explode from the rough, graze the top glove of Shakib and lob to Cheteshwar Pujara at short leg. Umesh Yadav, from the other end, tested Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur with reverse swing.
Facing a 481 chase – 22 more than Bangladesh were set in Hyderabad – South Africa looked to block their way out to a draw in Delhi in 2015. Chasing 475 in Indore last year, New Zealand attacked and collapsed dramatically. On Monday, Bangladesh did a bit of both.
Periods of resolute defence provided a counterpoint to periods of madness. Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah showed sound judgement outside the off stump against the seamers but threw their bats at the spinners. Mushfiqur charged at Ashwin’s second ball – a non-turning offbreak – and drove along the ground for a risky four. Two balls later, he used his feet and lobbed a catch to Jadeja. Mahmudullah sent Jadeja over the top for back-to-back boundaries in the 50th over and continued to live dangerously against spin.