The wicket at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur for this 2016 Asia Cup T20 opener between India and Bangladesh wasn't that different from the green outfield – plenty of grass and clearly a pitch that would aid the fast bowlers.
With MS Dhoni, fit for this match after recovering from back spasm, losing the toss and as a result the Men in Blue being put into bat, there were those ghosts of Pune wondering if it was going to be their time to haunt the India batsmen again.
That looked like being the case for the first ten overs of the match, as India lost three wickets in a hurry, while runs were very much at a premium as well. However, in the final ten overs of the innings, that magic wand of Rohit Sharma (83, 55b, 7x4, 3x6) started to work, the ghosts of Pune were banished and with Hardik Pandya (31, 18b, 4x4, 1x6) wielding his willow to good use as well, India tonked their way to a well-above par 166 for 6 in their 20 overs.
In reply, Bangladesh barely got out of second gear on this difficult wicket, managing just 121 for seven in 20 overs to succumb to a 45-run defeat much to the disappointment of the capacity crowd in Dhaka.
The chase was always going to be a tall order for Bangladesh, and that order only increased in height when Ashish Nehra started darting the ball around both ways. Nehra can be a difficult customer even on flat wickets, but when the ball moves around, the left-armer becomes near unplayable. That proved to be the case, with Nehra (4-0-23-3) castling the raw Mohammad Mithun in the third over of the innings to set the tone for the second innings.
Jasprit Bumrah then dismissed the dangerous Soumya Sarkar in the next over, getting a ball to rise and take the top of the bat through to Dhoni.
Imrul Kayes and Sabbir Rahman tried to steady the ship ala Rohit and Yuvraj Singh, but it was only a matter of time before the floodgates opened again.
Kayes (14, 24b, 1x4) fell to R Ashwin (4-0-23-1), exemplary again, even on a green top and with plenty of dew around, before Shakib was run out after a misunderstanding with Rahman. Rahman (44, 32b, 2x4, 2x6) was the only batsman to find some kind of boundary mojo, but Pandya sent him back to the pavilion with a heavy short ball that Rahman only managed to top-edge to Dhoni.
At 82/5, with Bangladesh needing a further 85 from 35 balls, the match was as good as done, even with the experienced Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah available.
Earlier, it was all Rohit as the India opener showed just why he is considered one of the best batsmen in the world in limited-overs cricket. After India found themselves in inevitable trouble on this green wicket, as Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina all fell early, Rohit Sharma was the only sane top order batsman, who read the nature of the pitch and situation perfectly to guide India to the big-on-this-wicket total.
Rohit had help too, first from Yuvraj Singh, who despite only scoring 15 from 16 balls (1x4), stuck around with Rohit to forge a crucial 55-run partnership. With India on 42/3, having lost three of their top four, a partnership was essential for India, and while Yuvraj was not in the greatest of touch again, the left-hander hung around long enough to take India out of trouble alongside Rohit.
Once Yuvraj got out, holing out to the bowling of Shakib Al Hasan, in the 15th over, India might have found themselves in trouble again, but Dhoni's decision to send in Pandya ahead of himself worked wonders. The all-rounder made a name for himself with his big-hitting prowess in the IPL for the Mumbai Indians, but then the international game is a completely different ball game.
However, Pandya showed his true value to this India team again, allying for 61 runs in just 4.3 overs with his Mumbai Indians captain to take the game away from Bangladesh.
The duo were severe on anything that was off line, and once they found their boundary-hitting groove, even the good balls went into the stands. India ended up scoring 114 runs in the final ten overs of the innings, having scored just 52 in the first 60 balls, and that proved to be the difference between victory and defeat for India in this Asia Cup opener.
Watch all the highlights from Match 1 of the Asia Cup T20 HERE