Rahul waged a lone battle against Bangladesh in the first ODI.
It was an entirely different sort of challenge from the one they faced last month in Australia. On a square-turning pitch with a hint of bounce, Indian batters meekly surrendered in the face of Bangladeshi bowlers, getting skittled at a paltry total of 186.
It was KL Rahul who did the bulk of the scoring, as none of the batters, barring him, managed even 30 runs. Rohit Sharma looked quite proactive in the beginning, scoring four fours and a six before getting bowled to an absolute peach of a delivery from Shakib Al Hasan. Shikhar Dhawan was bound to struggle on this surface, while Virat Kohli’s innings came to a premature end via Shakib.
Kohli’s departure left India precariously placed at 49/3 in 10.4 overs. Shreyas Iyer and Rahul then offered a semblance of control for the next few minutes, each batting with utmost caution. Iyer was largely reliant on singles and doubles, while Rahul did punish whenever the bowlers erred in their line and length.
Just as the thing started to look a little less grim for the tourists, Ebadot Hossain came and got rid of Iyer. Washington Sundar, the new batter in, never looked at ease with the conditions on offer, and his agonising, uneventful stay came to an end when he holed out to Hossain against Shakib.
The supposed batting depth of this team couldn’t rescue them, as the troika of Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, and Shahbaz Ahmed amassed a combined total of two runs, including two ducks. Rahul, however, looked in a different rhythm today and kept the scoreboard ticking with his timely boundaries.
He was batting on 73 off 70 deliveries and was the only hope for India if they want to reach beyond 200. But a slight miscalculation of bounce while pulling Ebadot proved costly, as his top edge fell into the safe hands of Anamul Haque.
The veteran Shakib finished the innings with a five-wicket haul, while Ebadot claimed four victims. The target shouldn’t really bother the hosts, as India don’t have any experienced spinners in their rank who can capitalise on the conditions.
Lead Image: BCCI