Bangladesh 388 (Mushfiqur 127, Umesh 3-84) and 103 for 3 (Ashwin 2-34) need another 356 to beat India 687 for 6 decl. and India 159 for 4 decl. (Pujara 54*)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Tests hurtle towards results on the moving day in India, which has of late shifted to the third from the fourth day. On a flatter surface in Hyderabad, the Test moved on the fourth day but decisively so towards India after only 12 wickets had fallen on the first three days. India took the four remaining first-innings wickets in one session despite an impressive Mushfiqur Rahim century, followed it up with a busy session to take their lead to 458 and took three second-innings wickets in the final session to bring themselves within sight of a win.
There might be some disappointed that India didn't enforce the follow-on keeping in mind the flat nature of the pitch, but India always looked like giving Bangladesh four sessions to survive, which was going to be a daunting task. In fourth innings in India, only twice have visiting sides batted more than the minimum of 125 overs Bangladesh were asked to bat. This was also only 2.5 overs fewer than what Bangladesh played in the first innings, only the second time they have lasted 100 overs against India.
It became all the worse when R Ashwin, who had become the fastest to 250 wickets with the last first-innings wicket 10 minutes before lunch, removed Tamim Iqbal as early as the sixth over of the final innings. Ashwin might have got just the two wickets in the first innings, but he was well and truly in rhythm bowling with the new ball against left-hand batsmen at the top of the innings. The rough outside their off stump had now become active, and Ashwin kept pitching just outside off, dipping the ball to make them stretch forward. This is when the natural variation becomes lethal as Tamim found out, bat-padding one that didn't turn as much as expected.
Soumya Sarkar and Mominul Haque kept India at bay for 16.4 overs, with India bowling seam at one end and spin at the other, but the introduction of Ravindra Jadeja brought a new challenge. Jadeja began targeting that rough obsessively, and in his second over he had the tall Sarkar stretching in front of his body to play a forward-defensive. This time the ball went straight on as opposed to turning, and Ajinkya Rahane took a sharp one-handed catch low to his right at slip.
In the next over Ashwin made it a double strike, moving over the wicket to Mominul and drawing a regulation edge. There was dip and there was a piece of pitch that came off when the ball pitched on leg stump. There wasn't much Mominul could do there. Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah then went through a nervous 10.5 overs to give Bangladesh a half chance of saving the Test.
It was quite different to how comfortably Mushfiqur and Mehedi Hasan had batted out the final session on day three. That calm was disrupted with Bhuvneshwar Kumar's reverse swing in the first over on the fourth morning. He did it each way: swinging the first ball in, the second out, the third in, and the fourth through the defence of the impressive Mehedi who had begun the day on 51.
Through some fortune and through some application, Mushfiqur and Taijul Islam batted together for close to 10 overs. Taijul faced 38 of those deliveries as Mushfiqur didn't farm the strike. Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma tested both of them with bouncers with Taijul finally gloving one through to Saha.
Mushfiqur might be struggling as a captain and a wicketkeeper but as a batsman he stood between India and complete and utter dominance of the Test. He had a hamstring issue towards stumps on day three, he had his gloves peppered, he saw his lower-order partners struggle against India's fast bowling but went on to complete a second consecutive century as India took almost the whole first session to bowl Bangladesh out. Along the way he overtook Habibul Bashar to become the third-highest run-getter for Bangladesh.
Mushfiqur, who had added only six more singles to his overnight score by the time Taijul got out, then got a six off a top-edged hook and started to score more freely. A misfield from Ishant at fine leg brought up the century. Mushfiqur wasn't done yet as he targeted Ashwin after spin was introduced only in the second hour, hitting him for two fours and a six. Jadeja and Ashwin remained persistent, though, and finally broke through. Jadeja's dismissal of the left-hand No. 10 Taskin Ahmed was almost identical to how he got Sarkar caught at slip in the second innings.
Ashwin then got to his record through a stunning catch by Wriddhiman Saha down the leg side off a carrom ball. The shot was on, though: the ball was short, Mushfiqur had only No. 11 for company, and he attempted a fine pull. He managed to just glove it through but Saha had moved well with the ball to catch it.
Having secured a lead of 299, India chose to give their bowlers a breather and batted on in the middle session. Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane scored quick runs, with Pujara hooking Taskin Ahmed for only the eighth six of his Test career. India scored 158 in the middle session to take their lead to 458. Pujara scored an unbeaten 54 off 58, and also batted with Saurashtra team-mate Jadeja for the first time in a Test.
Later in the day, Jadeja would go back to team up with a familiar partner, Ashwin, to strike telling blows.