Bangladesh would be chasing 321 runs in fourth innings to win the first Test, which is a tough task, but not impossible……
The light was too poor to continue play and thus, a further play was not possible. After a tiring day, both teams walked out the field with various thoughts in their respective minds. An interesting day awaiting for Bangladesh and Zimbabwe tomorrow, where both the sides would cash in big time.
Perhaps, Zimbabwe left the field thinking they have given the hosts a total to chase, which would be an uphill task in the fourth innings of a Test in the subcontinent, where the wickets behave wickedly – much more assistance for the spinners. Again, the fragile technique of the Bangladesh batters against the new ball would also encourage Hamilton Maskadza and his men.
Whereas, while leaving the field, Imrul Kayes and Liton Das might have thought, at least 26 runs have been cut out from the overall total without losing any wickets. What they would need to do tomorrow is play with a positive frame of mind. Indeed, Bangladesh would need to bat with a positive frame of mind on Day 4 as because, even though a Day 4 wicket in the subcontinent behaves wickedly, but still now, the Sylhet deck has not deteriorated like Mirpur or Chittagong. It is still a very good track to bat on if the right the kind of attitude is displayed.
Also read: Bangladesh batsmen let the team down again
Bangladesh would be chasing a total on Day 4, which they have never chased before. They have won four times by chasing in the fourth innings, but those totals were not above 300 runs. Yes, Bangladesh have scored 300 and above thrice in fourth innings, but sadly, in those matches, the Tigers lost. Their highest score in the fourth innings is 413 against Sri Lanka at Mirpur in 2008. Moreover, in the 150-year old history of Test cricket, a team has won 20 times while chasing a total of 321 and above and in the subcontinent, such has happened just five times!
The records and meek surrender in the first innings don’t give enough hope, but still, in cricket nothing is impossible. Bangladesh just need to bat positively.
Now batting positively does not mean having a go at the bowling from the word go, but exhibiting resolve is also a part of it. The Bangladesh batsmen need to bear in mind, the ball tends to move a bit in the morning session in Sylhet and thus needs to leave the ball more outside that channel of uncertainty rather than attempting to drive or poke. Leaving the ball in that region would frustrate the bowler to change his line of attack and that is when a batsman needs to cash in.
In the first innings, the Zimbabwean new ball bowlers – Kyle Jarvis and Tendai Chatara – feed in the rush-of-blood of Bangladesh batters. The more Bangladesh attempted to drive outside off, the more they put the ball there and also, had been successful in bringing the ball back in after bowling a couple of outswingers, which beat the fragile defence of Bangladesh batters more often.
And for which, Bangladesh batters need to curb their aggressive intent and invest time in spending time at the crease and deal in singles and twos to build productive partnerships. Switching to a limited-overs mode won’t help Bangladesh much. Batsmen like Kayes, Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah Riyad are experienced enough to stitch partnerships and steer the ship safely to the shore.
In the first innings, there was a bad tendency of exposing the edge among the top-order batters, which should not be repeated. Such things happen when a bit of problem exists in the back lift. If your back lift is not appropriate, your bat comes down by exposing the edge and also leaves a gap between bat and ball – you lose the battle.
It is expected, head-coach Steve Rhodes has observed the chinks in Bangladesh batting technique and would definitely work on those.
A calm and composed batting approach would help Bangladesh a lot tomorrow.