Bangladesh looked pale at Indore. None expected them to win the Test, but expected them to fight back, which, at least, would have helped to earn respect and boost the confidence…..

 

Abu Jayed bowled with a spirit, with which the Bangladeshi cricket fans are quite familiar since 2015. Jayed pitched the ball full targeting the line outside offstump, which gifted us another inspiring spell of pace bowling at Indore at the fag end of first day after a stupendous display from the Indian pacers on first day. Jayed maintained the same rhythm on second day, and paid rich dividends. Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane had been his victims, and on Day 2 he could have fetched a five-for only if Imrul Kayes held on to a simple catch at slips of Mayank Agarwal on the first evening.

Mayank would go on to smash a double ton!

The Indian batters were in a carnival mood with the willow and made a complete mockery of the Bangladesh bowling attack. It was like rubbing salt on the wound – after gunning down the Bangladesh batsmen for a paltry 150 in first innings, toying with the bowling attack was certainly painful for the fans. But despite all the doom and gloom, this boy Abu Jayed ran in and bowled with the fighting spirit, which was much needed from the other experienced campaigners of Bangladesh cricket team.

The sane brains of Bangladesh cricket never expected the Tigers to win a Test against this Indian team, who are invincible at home.  What they did expect was a fightback and prove that, they deserved to be invited to play a Test series in India long ago.

Of course, after spending time in Test cricket for the last 19 years and showing signs of improvement in the last four years in white clothes, the expectation of a fighting display from Tigers is not a day-dream at all. But alas, after two and half days of Test cricket at Indore, Bangladesh took us back to the days of early 2000, when such defeats were a regular phenomenon.

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Bangladesh were without their two superstars – Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan. The loss of someone like Shakib Al Hasan is huge, but this current Bangladesh unit has the experience to fight against all the odds despite various setbacks. Again, this team boasts with players, who have been around in Test cricket for many years. Players like Imrul Kayes, Mahmudullah Riyad, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, and the skipper Mominul Haque are not new bees in Test cricket. Imagine the scenario if these experienced campaigners fought back till the end – certainly, the contest would have been fascinating and most importantly, it would have helped to boost the confidence of Tigers to a great extent.

The Indian bowling attack is fantastic. From the word go, they would not take the foot off the pedal against any opposition.  The best way to counter them is by displaying resolve and that is where Bangladesh failed miserably. There might be technical limitations in a batsman, but it can be overcome via patience. If you lose patience in a Test match, you can’t think about weathering the storm. It results in dismissals against normal deliveries and not the outstanding ones.

Imrul Kayes exhibited resilience till the last ball of sixth over on Day 1 and rather than prolonging it, he wished to score runs quickly and jabbed at a normal length delivery with hard hands only to gift a catch to third slip. Mominul Haque decided to occupy the crease and he was showing promise until he decided to leave a slider from Ravichandran Ashwin, which resulted in a silly dismissal. Mind you, a few overs back, he dealt with similar deliveries with authority. Then Mahmudullah dished out a nothing-sweep-shot against an Ashwin-straight-delivery to lose his middle stump.

When three experienced campaigners get dismissed in such a manner, then it is hard to expect anything good.

The story remained the same in second innings. Yet again, that Mushfiqur Rahim helped Bangladesh to earn some respectability, but it became irrelevant as Bangladesh succumbed miserably on both the occasions.  A mere half-century or 30 to 40 runs don’t help enough in a five-day match. It demands big hundreds and for which patience and focus are a must. The criteria are same for bagging wickets as well.

Not so long ago, the ideal temperament existed. Bangladesh won the second Test at Colombo under Chandika Hathurusingha only due to exhibiting the ideal resolve and fighting spirit under adversity. But, where have they escaped right now? Why Bangladesh look so pale in white clothes at present?

The Bangladesh hierarchy needs to find the answers soon!

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