Despite losing both KL Rahul and Murali Vijay fairly early, India on Sunday declared their second innings at 159/4, setting a target of 459 for Bangladesh as they look to wrap up the one-off Test match without much fuss.
Earlier in the day, Bangladesh’s brave resistance had finally been silenced when their captain Mushfiqur Rahim fell on 127, to leave the Tigers someway short of India’s mammoth first-innings total of 687/6.
To make matters even better, Rahim was Ravichandran Ashwin’s 250th Test victim and he is now the fastest man to reach that milestone, eclipsing the great Dennis Lillee’s previously held record.
India had the option to enforce the follow-on, but skipper Virat Kohli chose to bat, as he probably felt if his batsmen got a quick few runs on the board, the noose would be uncomfortably tight around the visitors necks.
And that strategy seemed to have backfired initially as Taskin Ahmed sent openers Murali Vijay and Kl Rahul back to the pavilion fairly quickly. Cheteshwar Pujara and Kohli then steadied the rocking ship as the Tigers tried to apply the pressure on the host batsmen. While Kohli couldn't not build on a good start, as Shakib Al Hasan got rid of the in-form 28-year old at 38.
Pujara, however, stuck around, even hitting a six as the orders to the Indian batsmen seemed remarkably clear: Hit fast and hit big. His innings of 54 not out of 58 balls will probably be one of the rare times the Suarahstra batsman has had to up the tempo and with Ravindra Jadeja's (16*) pitching in with a late cameo, Kohli decided to declare at tea.
With little close to a day and a half remaining in the test, India require 10 wickets to win while Bangladesh have to chase an improbable target of 459 on a pitch which is expected to turn and twist on the final two days. The odds are very much in favour of India, who will probably be looking forward to the home series against Australia already.