What Bangladesh Can Do Now?
Bangladesh was badly bruised, battered and humiliated for awful performance. All guns blazing Team India did almost the same to much stronger South Africa in their comprehensive India wash (3-0) in not too distant past. Let us not try to justify our failure referring to that.
Bangladesh proved no match to vastly superior Indian skills of playing test cricket. We were nowhere in bowling and batting. Perhaps we could compare our poor fielding with Indian fielding. Both sides failed grabbing easy catches.
From (0-1) and another test a day night match at Historic Eden Garden due to start on 22 November all Bangladesh can do forgetting the bitter memories of Indore test is regrouping and giving a better account of themselves .
No one in the wildest dream would think that Bangladesh would win or even draw the test. But a better competitiveness and a spirit of not going down without fight can be logically expected. For that to happen Bangladesh must draw some inspiration from few positives among the ruins of Indore test.
Abu Jayed Rahi bowled brilliantly moving the ball appreciably on both sides. His four wickets (Rohit, Kohli, Pujara and Rahane) were all taken on quality deliveries. There could be different story if Kayes could hang on to the catch which Indore Test hero Mayank Agarwal offered early in his innings.
Only if Ebadat did not bowl too short and complemented Rahi Bangladesh could be far more competitive. We are unsure about the logic of not playing a third seamer or preferring Ebadat over Mustafiz and Al Amin on a grass top pacey wicket.
Bangladesh had negative mindset in playing eleven selection. How could they dare appearing with only four front line bowlers against the most formidable batting unit? That strategy proved suicidal. On a surface which assisted seam and swing bowling Bangladesh was buried by three prong Indian pace attack.
The decision of batting first on a pacey wicket also proved suicidal. We are not sure what encouraged Bangladesh think tank opting for batting against strong Indian pace attack on a grassy wicket of red mud retaining a bit of moisture.
Under prepared Bangladesh top and middle order looked like sacrificial lambs in the slaughter house. Only butter fingers of Indian fielders let Bangladesh even soring 150. If catches offered by Mominul, Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah were accepted Bangladesh could be bundled below 100.
Anyway only four batsmen Mushfiqur (43), Mominul (37), Liton Das (21) and Mahmudullah (10) could reach double figures. Rahi bowled superbly targeting the corridor of uncertainty and moving the ball appreciably. Trapping prolific Rohit early he created some panic in Indian camp.
Even Mayank and Pujara had some difficult time confronting his prodigious movement. Kayes dropped a dolly from Mayan’s bat early in his innings. Ebadat at the early stage was seen bowling tight .But he could not proved consistent and fed the strokes of Mayank and Pujara bowling too short.
The wicket did not have any turn. Miraz and Taijul could make no impacts at all. Bangladesh missed a third seam bowler.
On day two Rahi again created tremor getting rid of Pujara and Kohli in successive overs. Getting Kohli for naught was a big blow. But Bangladesh failed to press on. Mayank and Rahane batting superbly batted Bangladesh out of the match.
Mayank plundered the poor Bangladesh attack, scoring 243 with 28 fours and a record equaling 8 sixes. Rahane scored 86 again failing to Rahi. Jadeja promoted in the batting order blasted a quick fire unbeaten 60. By stumps on day two India forged 343 runs ahead posting 493/6.
The fate of the match was curbed out.
Bangladesh top order again melted to quality Indian seam attack. Kayes, Shadman, Mominul, Mithun and Mahmudullah were not equipped with skills and temperament to encounter the pace and movement of Shami, Sharma and Yadav. Mushfiqur (60), Liton (35) and Miraz (38) tried to apply.
The second and final test will be a day night match for the first time in India at historic Eden Gardens. It will be played with original pink ball. We are not sure how without any clue about playing with it BCB gave consent. BCCI would definitely love to experiment against the weakest team. Bangladesh would be the ideal sacrificial lamb.
Forgetting about the nightmare of Indore Bangladesh must field its best available XI. Young Saif Hasan may be given opportunity to open the innings. Liton K Das would be a better partner. Hope talented Mominul has learned his lesson from Indore test.
I would suggest playing Mushfiqur in his most suitable position at number four. Bangladesh batting must rotate around him. Mithun and Mahmudullah can follow at five and six. Mehedi Miraz can bat at 7. Tall young spinner Naeem can get into the team. He bats better also. Would suggest playing Al Amin and Mustafiz alongside Abu Jayed Rahi as three prong pace combination.
Pink ball would tend to move more and at this moment there cannot be better pace bowling combination. Bangladesh must play with five front line bowlers. The target must be batting for at least 5 sessions in either innings. We know that will not be easy at all. Fielding must be much smarter and all chances and even half chances must be grabbed.
Well none expects Bangladesh winning or even drawing Kolkata test. But we must demonstrate a never say die attitude and leave nothing unturned to make a match of it. If we can do that we can make Bangladesh proud. After all in Kolkata Bengali speaking mass will have greater sympathy.