India 462 for 6 (Dhawan 173, Vijay 150, Rahane 98, Shakib 4-105) v Bangladesh
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

2:46
Muthu: India got confidence from six-batsmen strategy
Muthu: India got confidence from six-batsmen strategy

Rain continued to frustrate India as only 47.3 overs were bowled in a stop-start day, slowing down India's push for a declaration. A whole day's play and 36 overs had already been lost by the time Shikhar Dhawan and M Vijay came out to resume their giant partnership on day three. That India got into one-day mode gave Bangladesh chances for wickets, and Shakib Al Hasan took four of them. Not before M Vijay had brought up his third Test 150, and Ajinkya Rahane had struck a punishing 98 off just 103 balls.

The wickets fell in two clusters: Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in the first, and Vijay, Wriddhiman Saha and Rahane in the second. Except for Saha, every batsman fell playing an attacking shot, and between the two clusters Vijay and Rahane added 114 for the fourth wicket in 22.4 overs.

The Bangladesh bowlers were more at home with batsmen looking for quick runs, as if in limited-overs cricket, in the process giving them opportunities. On day one, Dhawan and Vijay played more orthodox Test cricket, asking the bowlers to get them out, which Bangladesh failed miserably at. On the third day, too, it took another delayed introduction of Shakib for Bangladesh to be effective. Opening exchanges had been friendly, and you couldn't rule out broken opening-partnership records. Shakib immediately brought about mis-hits from Dhawan.

One fell short of deep midwicket, another in the gap around the same area, but the third one - a leading edge from way outside leg, an indication of India's desperation for quick runs - settled with Shakib. Rohit might draw some criticism for his dismissal soon after, but he was trying to do right by the team, looking for quick runs through a drive through cover, and missing its line to be bowled. Kohli looked for big drives similarly until he didn't watch a Jubair Hossain wrong'un and had a thick inside edge trickle onto the stumps.

Bangladesh would have hoped to see India rebuild a little, but the spinners provided Rahane with loose deliveries. The way Rahane got off the mark reiterated what was wrong with Bangladesh. Jubair first beat him with a wrong'un, which produced a close but unsuccessful lbw appeal. The one immediately after was a legbreak that beat Rahane, who was still driving hard, betraying the team instructions. When the fielding side would have loved to capitalise on those accumulating errors, the next ball was a long hop, and Rahane was away.

Vijay at the other end batted as serenely as he usually does, inconspicuously bringing up his sixth Test hundred and then refusing to play a complacent stroke. Not that that meant a drop in his strike-rate. He was 89 off 178 at the resumption of play, and by lunch he had reached 144 off 264. That was when rain first arrived, and India came out with more intent after the forced break. Soon after reaching 150 and having waited through another rain break, Vijay went for an uncharacteristic big sweep, missed the ball and was given out lbw even though he was struck outside the line.

Then came the only wicket where the batsman was well and truly outdone. Jubair, the legspinner, is quite an inaccurate bowler, but has a highly deceptive googly in his armoury. The same ball that got Kohli in a circuitous manner. This one, though, was more emphatic, dipping, pitching just outside off, and beating Saha's inside edge by quite a distance to hit the stumps.

At the other end, the free-flowing Rahane summed up the selfless attitude of India's batsmen. With the clouds gathering, and his score on 90, Rahane began to hit every delivery. A slog sweep and a sweep off the first two balls of the 102nd over took him to 98, yet there was no circumspection or anxiety to reach 100 visible. The next ball was only just short of a length, and Rahane went for the pull, and was bowled. Another shower arrived soon to force an early tea break and eventually an end to the day's play.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo