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Iyer, Ashwin save India from early shocks against Bangladesh

The duo put on 71* partnership to steer visitors 2-0 triumph over spinner Mehidy Hasan onslaught

Dhaka: The match-winning 71 runs partnership for the eighth wicket between Ravichandran Ashwin and Shreyas Iyer helped India register a 2-0 Test series against Bangladesh at Sher e Bangla National Stadium here on Sunday.
Ashwin punched the air in delight after he hit a boundary to get the final runs off Mahidy Hasan Miraz. It was a proper thriller of a match, especially after India were tottering at 74/7. Then 145 runs target looked like a herculean task.
It required cricketing smartness of Ashwin and Iyer who built a crucial partnership with coolest of temperament. Theirs was an inspiring show of fending off spin on a turning track inked with aggression and caution.
The intent clearly surprised Bangladesh who couldn’t find an answer to the duo’s counterpunch. They did have a chance early though, when Mominul Haque put down Ashwin at short-leg.
In all fairness though, 145 was never going to be a threatening score but Mehidy & co almost pulled it off for the hosts.
India may have won this game but there are serious concerns to ponder about, notably the form of their senior men. Some of the batting against spin has been unbelievably bad.
About the impressions on the two-match Test series, Bangladesh frittered away their first innings that most of the time decides which way the match is moving.
Credit to India’s bowlers, they were outstanding right through the series.
For Bangladesh, young Zakir made a mark in his first international series and there is some serious talent there to work with.
Litton Das continued on his merry ways and seemed to be in a real purple patch at the moment. But he needs to make his innings count as mere 60s and 70s aren’t enough. Those need to be converted into centuries.
For India, Cheteshwar Pujara and Shreyas Iyer stood tall while Rishabh Pant continued to be the team’s premier Test batsman.
The form of KL Rahul and Virat Kohli is a major worry, particularly with a massive Australian series coming up at home.
Brief scores: Bangladesh 227 & 231 (Litton Das 73, Zakir Hasan 51; Axar Patel 3-68) lost to India 314 & 145/7 (R Ashwin 42*, Shreyas Iyer 29*; Mehidy Hasan Miraz 5-63, Shakib Al Hasan 2-50) by 3 wickets. (B D Naraayannkar-UNI)

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