BAN vs IND 2022-23, 1st Test: 'Had to work hard for this win' - KL Rahul
BAN vs IND 2022-23: India registered a comfortable 188-run triumph in the opening Chittagong Test on Day 5 on Sunday. Meanwhile, stand-in skipper KL Rahul affirmed that the side had to work hard for it.
India captain KL Rahul admitted that his team was made to work hard by Bangladesh to register a comprehensive 188-run win in the first Test of the two-match series at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong on Sunday. Needing four Bangladesh wickets on the final day to take a 1-0 lead in the series, India wrapped up the match inside an hour in the morning session, bowling out the hosts for 324 in 113.2 overs. It was after Bangladesh offered dogged resistance on the fourth day morning session on Saturday, with Zakir Hasan (100) hitting a patient century, while Najmul Hossain Shanto (67) scored a 50.
"Hard fought Test match, and we had to work hard for this win. Happy we did that. It [the pitch] did flatten out. It didn't worry us. It looked like the batters were batting comfortably. Getting runs was hard for the first three days. The way their [Bangladesh] openers batted, we had to work hard," Rahul, who registered his first Test win as skipper, said at the post-match presentation.
Rahul said India wanted to turn things around after losing the One-Day International (ODI) series 1-2 to Bangladesh. "We've been here for a while. The one-day series didn't go as we wanted. Our intensity was high. We know no victory comes high," added Rahul. The India skipper lauded his batting unit, especially Cheteshwar Pujara, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant, for their contributions to the win.
"We batted well in the first innings as well. It was well done by Shreyas and Puji [Pujara], even Pant's counter-attack. Happy for them [Gill and Pujara]. They utilised the opportunity," Rahul continued. He also lavished praise on the bowling unit. "Very pleased with the way we bowled. The pitch wasn't assisting the bowlers, but they found something. Umesh [Yadav] bowled a couple of great spells and brought us back into the game. We've built this attack over the years. They are showing what quality they have," Rahul expressed.
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan, who hit an attacking 84 in the second innings, said the pitch was a batting beauty, but a below-par show undid them with the willow in the first innings. Bangladesh was bowled out for 150 in its first innings in reply to India's 404.
"It was a terrific wicket to bat on, but we didn't bat well [in the first innings]. Playing after five-six months wasn't ideal, but there should be no excuses. A lot of credit to India for the way they bowled. They bowled in partnerships and created pressure. We have to play good cricket for all five days. We have to play four good innings to get a result, especially against India," Shakib said.
Shakib was effusive in his praise for young Zakir Hasan. "He has been scoring a lot of runs in domestic runs. That's why we picked him. Hopefully, he scores many more centuries for Bangladesh," he concluded. Meanwhile, wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who won the man-of-the-match award for his career-best match figures of 8 for 113, besides a dogged 40 in India's first innings, said it wasn't easy to pick up wickets in the second innings as the pitch had flattened out.
"To be honest, I am happy with the performance, both with bat and ball. In the first innings, the pitch was quicker than in the second innings. There was some pace in the first innings, but the second innings was very challenging. It was slower. I was working on my rhythm and bowling quicker. More revs on the ball make it challenging for the batters, and it is also difficult to step down and drive [why wrist spinners have that extra edge]," Kuldeep reckoned.
"I just worked on my rhythm, tried to be more aggressive, and it's helped me a lot. The action is the same, just trying to be aggressive in the rhythm [about working on his bowling]," Kuldeep concluded. The second Test of the two-match series will start at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka on December 22.
(With inputs from PTI)