Hot India primed for Aussies
A stunning spell by India’s spinners seals a comprehensive in over Bangladesh
Chasing 459 for victory on the final day of their first Test on Indian soil, Bangladesh were bowled out for 250 in an extended afternoon session after stubborn resistance from their lower order.
Ashwin and Jadeja shared eight second-innings wickets to help India extend their record unbeaten run to 19 Tests, leaving them in prime form for a series against archrivals Australia later in February.
Indian captain Virat Kohli, man of the match for his 204 in the first innings, paid tribute to Bangladesh for their fighting performance but made it clear that thoughts had already turned to Australia.
"Everyone’s minds and hearts are on that series and we are keen to start the first Test," said Kohli.
"Everyone is raring to go.… It’s a very big series for us."
Australia, who are No2 in the Test rankings, land in Mumbai on Monday for a four-Test series against Kohli’s team, who are top ranked.
Despite the comprehensive nature of the result, Bangladesh emerged with some credit for taking the one-off contest into the afternoon of the final day and Kohli said India would need to be more ruthless in future.
"Closing off games is very important. Especially in Test cricket you don’t want to give oppositions any chance to get into the game and that’s something we need to keep repeating," Kohli said.
Kohli, second only to Australian skipper Steve Smith in the batting rankings, will go into the series in red-hot form after hitting his fourth double century since July.
The Indian captain said he had been making sure that he does "not get ahead of myself".
The team’s recent run was about more than just his batting, Kohli said.
"I don’t think it’s because of me … we are playing as a team and that’s been the difference in this side," he said.
Monday’s result had appeared in little doubt after Bangladesh had been set such a huge total in their second innings and the tourists began the final day on 103/3.
Mahmudullah (64) shrugged off poor form to register his 13th Test 50 while young spinner Mehedi Hasan made a gutsy 61-ball 23 to delay the inevitable.
But the match ended when Ashwin, who in his 45th Test had become the fastest bowler to claim 250 Test wickets on Sunday, trapped Taskin Ahmed lbw to finish with 4/73.
There was some drama after the umpire originally turned down his appeal but had to change his mind after the decision was reviewed.
Ashwin also dismissed first-innings centurion Mushfiqur Rahim (23) in the morning session to scupper Bangladesh’s only real hope of saving the match, while Jadeja accounted for star batsman Shakib Al Hasan (22).
Mahmudullah then put on fighting partnerships with their captain, Rahim, and Sabbir Rahman to resist the Indian attack on what still seemed to be a decent batting track.
India had bowled out Bangladesh for 388 in their first innings and decided to build on the 299-run lead after not enforcing the follow-on. Ninth-ranked Bangladesh were always left playing catch-up after the hosts posted 687/6 declared in their first innings.
Rahim said he was "really proud" of his side and hoped that "we can learn from this".
"Our bowlers need to learn how to bowl in partnerships and that can create chances. But it gives us a lot of belief after playing the number-one Test side," he said. The result meant India maintained their unbeaten record against the minnows and now have seven wins and two draws in nine encounters.
The Australia series begins on February 23.