India's bowlers faced dogged resistance from Bangladesh middle-order led by captain Mushfiqur Rahim, who hit a defiant 81 not out to take his team to 322 for six at stumps on Day 3 of the one-off Test in Hyderabad, on Saturday.
All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan’s attacking 82 also contributed to Bangladesh's fightback.
At stumps on the third day, Rahim was ably supported by Mehedi Hasan Miraz, who hit his maiden half-century in Tests, to be unbeaten on 51.
However, the visitors still trail India by 365 runs after the hosts posted a massive 687 for six in their first innings.
Umesh Yadav, who took two for 72 in 18 overs, was India's best bowler on display, however, spin twins Ravichandran Ashwin (1-77) and Ravindra Jadeja (1-60) didn't look incisive despite being economical on a track that is still pretty good for batting.
Infact, Ashwin was hit for 12 boundaries, and the wicket of Shakib was his first after a long wait of 58.1 overs, including the second innings of the Chennai Test against England where he went wicketless.
Ishant Sharma (1-54) looked more effective with the old ball but he did inflict some pain to Rahim with a snorter that had him in some pain but the gritty Bangladesh skipper pulled the next for a boundary in the final over of the day.
While India still have the upperhand with two full days of play, Bangladesh certainly would have gained confidence as they showed stomach for some fight in the last two sessions of the day after a poor morning.
19-year-old Miraz showed maturity beyond his years to help his captain by playing risk free cricket, only hitting the loose deliveries and become the youngest Bangladesh batsman to hit a fifty in Tests.
Rahim hit 12 boundaries in 206 balls while Miraz hit 10 boundaries in 103 balls as the visitor defended resolutely in the final session, which yielded 76 runs in 30 overs.
The seventh wicket partnership between Rahim and Miraz yielded 87 runs in 32.5 overs but more importantly showed that there aren’t too many demons in the pitch.
The best part was their application in the final session. There was a point of time when Rahim had scored only four runs in an hour in the post tea session but he was willing to fight it out for the team.
Bangladesh still need 166 runs to avoid follow-on and if India can finish off Bangladesh quickly on Day 4 it remains to be seen if captain Virat Kohli enforces the follow on.
With his bowlers already sending down 104 overs, he might just want to give them rest and pile a few quick runs in the second innings.
As compared to the morning session, the post lunch session was comparatively better for Bangladesh with 121 runs coming at the loss of two wickets. But India after getting Shakib and Shabbir Rahman in quick succession, looked in complete control before Rahim and Mehedi resisted.
Shakib, who was instrumental in stemming the first session rot, went on the counter smashing his way to 82 off only 103 balls before his indiscretion landed the visitors in trouble.
Once Shakib was dismissed, the visitors quickly lost another wicket with Shabbir (16) being trapped leg before by Jadeja.
An aggressive Shakib went after Ashwin but he mistimed the attempted lofted shot down the ground and was caught at mid-on by Umesh.
Earlier, Yadav rattled Bangladesh batsmen with some reverse swing in the morning as the visitors were lost three wickets in the pre-lunch session.
The first session of the third day certainly belonged to Umesh, who worked up good pace for a consistent period of time.
The only batsman who had looked comfortable was Tamim Iqbal (25) and he was unfortunately run-out after a horrible mix-up with Mominul Haque (12). The miscommunication while going for the second run became Tamim's undoing as he could add only a run to his overnight score.
Mahmudullah (28) and Mominul both were distinctly uncomfortable and never looked comfortable, especially against the pacers.
After bowling a number of outswingers, Umesh got one to comeback sharply into Mahmudullah, which trapped him in-front. India went for a DRS but it was an umpires’ call despite the delivery grazing the leg stump.
But Umesh didn’t lose heart and left-hander Mominul got a fuller delivery that came in after pitching. The umpire promptly adjudged leg before and this time the batsman didn't even take a review.
Mahmudullah and Shakib then added 45 runs during which they played a few drives and also got their share of streaky boundaries in between.
Mahmudullah was done in by a sharp incoming delivery from Ishant, which struck him right in front of the stumps. The umpire adjudged the batsman leg before and he went for a review which didn’t work in his favour.
Shakib and Rahman were dismissed in the post-lunch session and with Indian bowlers looking all charged up, it looked as if Bangladesh would be bundled out cheaply. But Rahim steadied the ship and in the company of the young Miraz, he defied the Indian bowlers for the entire post-tea session and give his team a much-needed lift.