Agarwal hits a double century and India wins by a huge margin

By Kersi Meher-Homji

Thanks to a magnificent double century by Indian opening sensation Mayank Agarwal and penetrating swing bowling by fast bowlers Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav, India won the first Test against Bangladesh at Indore by an innings and 130 runs.

In reply to Bangladesh’s 150 India declared at 6 for 493 (Agarwal 243, Cheteshwar Pujara 54, Ajinkya Rahane 86 and Ravindra Jadeja 60 not out). The Indian seamers routed Bangladesh again for 213.

What a fantastic start of his Test career by 28 year-old Agarwal! In the just concluded Indore Test, Player of the Match Agarwal (243 runs) outscored Bangladesh in both innings (150 all out and 213 all out).

In eight Tests the aggressive Indian opener has scored 858 runs at an average of 71.50 hitting three centuries (including two double hundreds) and three fifties. This has drawn favourable comparisons with the start of Sir Don Bradman’s Test career.

Bradman had scored his first two double centuries in seven Tests, one Test less than Agarwal. But he had played 13 innings to reach this target. Agarwal has played only 12 innings to reach this milestone of two double tons.

Before his 243 against lowly ranked Bangladesh on Friday, Agarwal had amassed 340 runs (including a double century and a century) at an average of 85.00 against the high ranked South Africa last month.

It was six and out for Bangladesh opening batsmen in the Indore Test. Shadman Islam and Imrul Kayes were dismissed for 6 runs each in both innings. In their only innings, India’s opening bat Rohit Sharma also scored 6 runs but his partner, Mayank Agarwal, “spoiled” the pattern by hitting 243 including 8 sixes.

Anindya Dutta has recently published a fascinating book titled Wizards (reviewed in The Indian Down Under last week). It featured famous Indian spinners from Palwankar Baloo in early 1900 to Ravi Ashwin today via Vinoo Mankad, SP Gupte, Ghulam Ahmed, EAS Prasanna, Bishan Bedi, BS Chandrasekhar, Srinivas Venkatraghavan, Anil Kumble…

Now someone should follow up with a book titled Swingers featuring Mohammad Nissar of 1930s to Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav, not forgetting Kapil Dev and Ramakant Desai.

The second and final Test against Bangladesh starts on Friday in Kolkata. It will be a pink ball day-night Test, the first ever in India.

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