Thursday, 30 May, 2024


Bangladesh on back foot

Saleque Sufi |
Update: 2015-06-10 08:24:00
Bangladesh on back foot Photo :

DHAKA: Despite having 34 overs lost due to rain interruption and bad light, Bangladesh are already on the back foot at stumps on Day-one of the one-off Test against India.

India scoring 239 runs without losing any wicket is on the driving seat at Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah of Narayanganj on Wednesday.

Sizzling Shikhar Dhawan, coming back in the side only due to last minute ailment of Rahul, bounced back with a very aggressive unbeaten 150. Solid Murali Vijay was also solid with his 89 not out.

This pair scored their second 200-run opening partnership. They are looking good for more when play will resume on the Day-2 morning.   India with the advantage of bowling last on this wicket has its grip very firm on the test. Unless the weather interferes it will be extremely challenging for Bangladesh to save the match from here.

Negative mindset, poor team selection, a very lean bowling unit of Bangladesh on a flat wicket put Bangladesh on a very tight situation.

Bangladesh is playing test cricket for 15 years now. Still it could not find a proper test bowling attack to try and win test at home. When it plays against any team other than Zimbabwe at home its main target is to try and avoid defeat. Though home teams have prerogative to prepare wickets suiting their strength, Bangladesh wicket surprises the home team. This was the case with the second test against Pakistan at Mirpur and now at Fatullah against India.

On a wicket which appeared to have little assistance for bowlers Bangladesh appeared with only one relatively inexperienced pace bowler, and four spinners. India in the same situation picked three genuine pace bowlers and two spinners. Bangladesh already surrendered imitative before the test started. The miseries of Bangladesh compounded when Virat Kohli being lucky with the coin elected to bat and in one of a half session before rain interrupted first session raced to 107 without any wicket. Bangladesh bowled poorly. Play resumed after long rain interruption and by bad light shortened stumps India unconquered openers reached 239.

Whatever is the nature or character of the wicket Bangladeshi spinners could hardly create any impressions on very strong Indian batting. If any bowling can trouble Indian top and middle order batting at all now these are the pacers.

Bangladesh cannot risk Mashrafe and Taskin for the test. They cannot rely on Al Amin, Rabiul and Shafiul. They thought it wise not to include their best available pacer at the moment Rubel. Shahid is new to international cricket. He can be good third seamer behind Rubel and Al Amin or Rubel and Taskin but Bangladesh think tank entrusted the responsibility of première pace bowling on Shahid and asking talented top order emerging batsman Soumya Sarkar to share the new ball. This dampens the spirit of both. What Bangladesh gains from such game plan and match strategy?
Bangladesh appeared with eight batsmen and there also experienced Nasir Hossain was ignored and Shuvagata Hom was preferred. This lean Bangladesh attack in test is not only incapable of taking 20 Indian wickets. It may not be able to take even 10 wickets of very strong Indian wickets in the only innings that India might be playing in this test. If seven genuine batsmen cannot bat well to earn a draw then what the eighth batsman can do?

These are very unprofessional ideas and thoughts of incompetent team think tank. Although it is too early in a five day test match yet it seems now only nature can save Bangladesh from humiliation.
Mushfiqur lost the toss and had to field. The sky was over cast. But Bangladesh did not have the advantage of a fast bowler who could exploit the swinging condition. No Rubel, no Taskin, no Al Amin in the side. The lone warrior Shahid had to struggle with part timer Soumya. Mushfiqur had to introduce spin in the very fifth over.

Shikhar had a feel of the wicket for a couple of overs. He soon exploited the very friendly Bangladesh attack playing his classical glorious strokes all around. He displayed his wide array of strokes. He was equally prolific on both back and front foot. His stroke full innings of 150 contained 21 glorious strikes to the fence.
Vijay was more composed and did not hurry. He could build his innings in his merry relaxed fashion. He too was also not any sort of discomfort. Vijay stuck 8 fours and the only six of the match so far in his innings of 89.

The pair reached 107/0 by 24.3 overs when rain interrupted. But just before that Shuvagata dropped Dhawan off the bowling of Taijul who was the only bowler who looked like getting a wicket. Otherwise the bowling was pretty ordinary. The only option that appeared feasible over the entire day appeared to be run outs from direct throw. But Bangladesh did not pick two of finest fielders Nasir and Shabbir who are also very competent middle order batsmen.

The task of Bangladesh is well cut out. They had to try and get some early wickets on day two. Or otherwise they will be buried under run-mountain and will require batting out of skin to save the match.

Next time Bangladesh appears in a test match against similar or stronger opposition like South Africa or Australia they have to have proper bowling combination or do not play test matches at all. Bangladesh themselves also have massively contributed for the state they are now in the test cricket. They are almost out of the contest.

BDST: 1824 HRS, JUN 10, 2015

** Rain-hit Day-1 play resumes

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