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Pujara, Iyer put India in command against Bangladesh

India's Shreyas Iyer plays a shot during the first day of the first Test. ©AFP

Chittagong (Bangladesh) (AFP) - Cheteshwar Pujara and Shreyas Iyer pulled India out a hole on Wednesday to put their side in a strong position at 278-6 on the opening day of the first Test against Bangladesh.

India made a brisk start in Chittagong but a double strike by Taijul Islam including Shubman Gill for 20 and danger man Virat Kohli for one left the visitors on the back foot on 48-3.

In between stand-in captain KL Rahul had played on off Khaled Ahmed for 22.

A gutsy 46 by Rishabh Pant including six fours and two sixes helped steady the ship before Mehidy Hasan bowled the wicketkeeper-batsman after lunch.

Pujara and Iyer then came together with India on 112-4 and made the bowlers pay despite signs of spin in the first-day track at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.

Rock-steady Pujara was bowled by Taijul for his third wicket of the day but not before the Sussex star had grounded out a workmanlike 90 that included 11 fours.

Wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan dropped Pujara off Ebadot Hossain on 12 in the second ball of the second session.

Iyer remained unbeaten at the close on 82, while Axar Patel was out on the last ball of the day for 14, trapped leg-before as the second of off-spinner Mehidy's two wickets.

Catches dropped

Iyer was also dropped on 67 and miraculously survived being bowled by Ebadot on 77 when the bails failed to dislodge, leaving the hosts ruing their missed chances.

"I don't think we are in too much bad position considering the first day of a Test match," Taijul said.

"We are in good position.Maybe we could have been in a better position if the catches were taken."

"It happened," he said of Iyer's bails mishap.

"The way I was batting, and looking at the pitch, it's not an easy pitch to bat on," Pujara said.  

"So I am really happy with the way I batted today."

He added: "My partnership with Shreyas was very important and also with Rishabh once we lost three wickets...We had to build a partnership and put a decent total."

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan passed a fitness test to lead the home side, with opening batsman Zakir Hasan making his Test debut.

India have been hit by injuries, with captain Rohit Sharma out for at least the first match of the two-Test series.

Fast bowler Mohammed Shami and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja will play no part in proceedings.

The two-match series forms part of the ICC World Test Championship.India are fourth, having won six of their 12 matches. 

Bangladesh, who have never beaten India in a Test match, are in last place with eight defeats from 10 matches.

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