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India thrash Bangladesh in warning to Aussies

HYDERABAD: Members of Indian team pose with the winning trophy after their win over Bangladesh in their one-off cricket test match in Hyderabad, India, yesterday. India won the match by 208 runs. —AP

HYDERABAD: India issued a battle cry to Australia yesterday after wrapping up a comprehensive 208-run victory over Bangladesh with a devastating display of spin bowling by Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. 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 arch rivals Australia later this month.

Indian skipper Virat Kohli, man of the match for his 204 in the first innings, paid tribute to Bangladesh for their fighting performance but made 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 after seeing off Bangladesh in Hyderabad. “Everyone is raring to go … It’s a very big series for us.” Australia, currently number two in the Test rankings, land in Mumbai on Monday for a four-Test series against Kohli’s top-ranked team.

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 told reporters. Kohli, second only to Australian skipper Steve Smith in the batting rankings, will go into the series in redhot form after hitting his fourth double century since July. The Indian skipper said he had been making sure that he does “not get ahead of myself” and said the team’s recent run was about more than just his batting. “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

Yesterday’s result had appeared in little doubt after Bangladesh had been set such a massive 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 against the world’s number Test side. 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 figures of four for 73.

There was some drama after the umpire originally turned down his appeal but had to change his mind after the decision was reviewed by the Indian team. 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 second innings and decided to build on their 299-run lead after not enforcing the followon. Ninth-ranked Bangladesh were always left playing catch-up after the hosts posted a mammoth 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, with the first Test in Pune followed by matches in Bangalore, Ranchi and Dharamsala. — AFP

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