Taijul Islam bowled brilliantly on a day when the spotlight was on Abdur Razzak.
A day before the start of second Test, cricket fraternity of Bangladesh was buzzing about the selection of Abdur Razzak. The veteran left-arm orthodox bowler was once a part and parcel of Bangladesh limited-overs team, but in five-day formats, he was not able to showcase his talent the way everyone expected. Before the start of second Test, he averaged 67 from 12 Tests at the cost of 22 wickets which is a very poor record and thus, he was omitted from the Test team and his inconsistency in limited-overs format led to his ousting.
He kept on performing in domestic cricket, but the competition of cementing a place in Bangladesh cricket team is very much tough these days and Razzak could only invest faith, in patience and of course the media, who kept on highlighting about his selection in Test squad despite knowing the fact, Bangladesh don’t need to invest time in men of yesterday.
But the media hype and Razzak’s patience paid off. After Sunzamul Islam’s poor show in Chittagong, Razzak, who was a surprising pick up in Test squad, got included for second Test and he struck gold immediately.
He fetched four wickets which might be a memorable comeback to silence the critics, but one must not forget how he fetched his wickets. Apart from that dismissal of Dinesh Chandimal and Kusal Mendis, the wickets were simply gifted by the batsmen. Razzak should thank Dimuth Karunaratne and Gunathilaka for their clumsy stroke-play and make his comeback special!
But fetching wickets matter in any form of the game and the old warhorse’s selection could not be questioned.
Taijul shines on Razzak’s comeback-day
While the media and Razzak fans celebrate his comeback, I think, it would not be justified enough if we forget about Taijul Islam who, in my opinion, overshadowed the rest of Bangladesh bowlers. Most of the times, he bowls as a supporting bowler to either Shakib Al Hasan or Mustafizur Rahman. He is one of those bowlers who’s a workhorse but at the end of the day forgotten for his hard toil under the hot sun and on docile tracks.
He was brought on to bowl when Razzak and Mehidy Hasan Miraz were bleeding four runs and over. Taijul’s first ball was short like Miraz and Razzak, but as the match progressed he gained the momentum. He decided to pitch the ball a lot fuller and on the good and back of a length consistently.
He pitched one on a better length against Dhananjaya de Silva and made it slide sharply. De Silva flummoxed and edged it to Sabbir Rahman. Then, Niroshan Dickwella came down the wicket prematurely to negotiate the low-bounce and was castled. Sri Lanka were in dire straits as Taijul’s adjustment of length paid him rich dividends.
Roshen Silva and Dilruwan Perera stitched a threatening partnership to spoil the good work of Bangladesh bowlers, but Taijul ended their stubborn resistance by dishing out a loopy delivery in and around middle stump which resulted in a bat-pad catch. Then he ended the Sri Lankan innings with a ripper of a delivery which s jumped from good length to kiss Roshen’s glove as Liton Das took a very good catch.
According to Cricviz, “Abdur Razzaq might have got four wickets but it’s Taijul Islam who’s bowled slightly better lengths – he’s got the batsmen to come on to the front foot 61.1% of the deliveries to Razzaq’s 56% and they have attacked him just 22.2% of the times to Razzaq’s 29%”.
The act of a supporting bowler always led him to hold one end rather than searching for wickets. He would either maintain a defensive line to stop the bleeding of runs or create pressure to build the platform for the strike bowlers to reap a rich harvest. But today, he earned the right of bowling as a strike bowler and one can notice how his line of attack and length changed – they were all about taking wickets rather than creating pressure.
Bangladesh’s poor show with the bat might not be a matter of joy for Taijul but he should be pleased with his efforts thinking, he has delivered the best on a day when the spotlight was on Razzak. I think, he has stolen the limelight from Razzak.