Chittagong: Sure, Sachin Tendulkar has authored smarter hundreds, and at bigger venues, but his 105 not out here cant be treated as just another three-figure knock.
It wasnt without blemish, but Sachins 44th Test hundred helped save Indias face. Remove his runs from a total of 243 and the picture would be awful to look at.
The total, in any case, is Indias lowest against Bangladesh and, while Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma took three wickets on a severely curtailed day, Monday, the talking point still was the visitors poor batting.
Only 111 minutes were possible on Day II of the two-match Idea Cup, time enough for 24.5 overs. And, of course, for Sachin (on 76 overnight) to get closer to a combined century of three-figure knocks in Tests and ODIs.
That definitely was a big moment on an otherwise frustrating day.
As for Bangladesh, they let go a splendid opportunity to really push Team India into a corner.
Indeed, after an aggressive start by Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes, the hosts slumped to 59 for three before the fog-induced insufficient light halted what had become a rather fascinating face-off.
The forecast is no better for Tuesday.
Returning to Sachin, he told The Telegraph: I hate making comparisons, but this innings of mine will be among the more important ones, because of the situation wed been in on the opening day. Theres a sense of satisfaction, yes.
Speaking at the Peninsula Hotel, he added: It was necessary for me to contribute... It helps the team when somebody stays there after wickets have quickly gone down... Because Id been left with the tail, Id begun to play my shots from last evening itself...
With No.11 Sreesanth for company, Sachin reached his hundred with a boundary.
Asked if hed been keeping track of Ricky Ponting (his tally of three-figure innings stands at 39), Sachin laughed. Not really... Rickys doing his job and Im doing mine... Im focused on my game... Thats what I need to do.
Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons, meanwhile, said: We couldve had two good days, but the loss of three wickets made it ordinary (today)... Doesnt help...
Hardly amused by the weather — incidentally, the mercury has dipped appreciably — he remarked: It has left us all a bit flat... The Test had actually been shaping into a good contest..."
And, just how should the Bangladesh batsmen go about repairing their first innings?
Siddons, who spent a couple of years working under John Buchanan in the Australia colours, answered: By being fearless and putting away the bad balls... Im hoping our batsmen will apply themselves...
Its tough for some to switch from ODIs to Tests, but we still do have a couple of batsmen capable of getting a Test hundred...
Fair enough, but its all about delivering, not potential.
On that score, captain Shakib-al Hasan and quick Shahadat Hossain have reason to be happy. They shared the last two Indian wickets to each finish with five against their name.
Its no small achievement.
With so much time lost, the scheduled start on Day III has been advanced to 8.30 am (IST).