Varun Aaron’s erratic spell of fast bowling, which almost knocked out the Bangladesh skipper, was the talking point of the first half of the game.
Express pace, now hide your face
Varun Aaron marked his longish run-up, ran in hard, bowled a delivery well over the 140 km/h mark, only to see Anamul Haque dance down the track and dispatch it into the stands for a maximum, not once but twice.
This pretty much summed up Aaron’s erratic day with the ball. There was no lack of effort or intent, but the seamer failed to hit the right areas. On batting havens like this one, an express bowler erring in line is a bonus for the batsman, who loves the extra yard or two on a misdirected delivery. One such delivery almost knocked out the Bangladesh skipper. It seemed the ball slipped out of his hand, but the umpires were not pleased. This was the second occasion that he bowled full above the waist line and the umpires wasted no time in getting him off the attack.
Yes, there was nothing in the surface for the quicks, but Mohammed Shami bowled an inspiring enough spell with the new ball first up. He did bowl full early on, but made the quick adjustment to a rather shortish length. Result: He ends with impressive figures of 4/50 and Aaron with 1/74 in 7.5 overs.
The little dynamo
The pint-sized Bangladesh skipper definitely punched above the weight against an Indian side very successful in home-like conditions. Mushfiqur Rahim was not bogged down, both by the Indian attack and the occasion, as he worked his way to fine century against the attack comprising of specialist ODI bowlers.
The little right-hander was in no hurry at the start and rotated the strike well. He was happy to give on-song Anamul Haque more strike, and found the ones and twos well. Once he crossed the 50-run mark, there was a sense of urgency in his shot selection. The skipper started creating room, cleared the front leg on occasions and placed the ball with perfection. In his 113-ball 117, Rahim played all around the wicket and made the Indian bowlers pay for an ordinary effort with the ball.
New action, old problems
R Ashwin, with long sleeves and a different action, picked a wicket on the first ball of his spell. He tossed it up, beat the batsman in flight and exposed the slow nature of the surface early on. Those visuals promised a spinners’ day out.
That was probably the only high of Ashwin’s spell. After that wicket, he looked very ordinary. Yes, there was a change in action, especially before he delivered the ball, but there was no change in the deliveries he bowled. No consistency, shortish length, wayward line and the hosts were all at ease against his slow and gentle offies.
No yes, no mine as Rayudu collides
Shami, in between of a fine spell of fast bowling, forced the batsman – Shamsur – to play a false stroke on a rising delivery. The ball, after taking the outside half of the batsman’s blade, spooned up in the air. And, there was silence!
Two fielders – the bowler Shami and Ambati Rayudu – were charging towards the ball, but didn’t bother to call for the catch. Result: They crashed into each other, but to India’s relief Shami held on to that one.
Veteran Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar was livid with this act and said this is something which you learn at the junior level. Is this cricket at the highest level?