It was a Test of ifs and buts. What if Mominul Haque had grabbed the chance, to dismiss Ravichandran Ashwin early on day four. The result could have gone either way but as it stood, India deservedly went past a spirited Bangladesh side to clinch a 2-0 series win away from home.
En-route to India’s win were plenty of learning curves. Ashwin, recapping the Test on his YouTube channel, had a special praise for 28-year-old Shreyas Iyer. Ashwin insisted that Iyer’s technique against spinners was excellent, and insisted that the experience of playing well in domestic cricket had bore its fruit in Dhaka.
Iyer, who walked in at No.8 for India played a special hand, scoring 29 runs off 46 balls, a knock where he showed excellent composure while taking the attack to the opposition skipper, Shakib Al Hasan. Iyer also built a stunning partnership with Ashwin himself, as the pair took India home after finding themselves in a precarious position at 74/7.
“Shreyas showed terrific composure and amazing defense against the spinners. He has kept scoring crucial runs for Mumbai in first-class cricket on rank-turners against spinners. That experience of domestic cricket came to the fore during the run-chase. His footwork against the spinners was decisive and he showed intent throughout the innings,” Ashwin said on his YouTube channel.
However, the off-spinner and possibly one of the greatest to have played Test cricket from the country insisted that the ebbs and flows of the Dhaka Test is a massive learning curve for the Men in Blue.
“He was cool and composed throughout. Big credits and plaudits to him, and the outcome is extremely satisfying. More than the match result, the ebbs and flows of the Test was a massive learning for us (India team).
Ashwin also reserved special praise for the two-Test old Zakir Hasan, who had a stellar start to his Test career, with a Test century on debut.
“Just because it is Bangladesh, we can’t assume an easy win. Winning a Test match is a phenomenal achievement. Bangladesh showed great temperament and special note to Zakir Hasan, Bangladesh’s next superstar.”
The 36-year-old also shed light into the dressing room atmosphere on day three, insisting that Rishabh Pant jokingly was adamant that he wouldn’t walk out to bat. Further, Ashwin recollected that Pant had asked the coaches to send nightwatchmen to protect him from batting.
“Vikram Rathour asked 'Virat said he didn't need a night watchman. Do you need?". (Pant replied) ‘I need watchmen throughout the night. I will go and play tomorrow’.
"Rathour Bhai was like, "We have only Jaydev Unadkat left. Who else should we send?" Pant was like, “Send Ash Bhai, or send whoever you want. I will go bat tomorrow.”
“I couldn't stop laughing when he said that casually. When I was extremely nervous, there he was relaxed and cracking a joke,” Ashwin said.