Bangladesh spinners put India in a rather uncomfortable position as they finished 45/4 by the end of day three in the second Test at Dhaka on Saturday. Bangladesh found their way into what appeared a lost cause on the first two days of the Test. With the bat, Liton Das’ gritty 73, along with a wagging tail steered the hosts to 231 all out.
Despite the subpar score, spinners Mehidy Hasan and Shakib Al Hasan rose to the challenge, leaving India in trouble with 100 runs still left to chase, leaving the match unexpectedly hanging in the balance.
However, Mohammad Siraj in the press conference following the end of the day’s play stated that it wasn’t time to press the panic button yet.
“I feel, we shouldn’t think too much now because we have lost just four wickets. We need around 80 (100) or so. We need just one batter to get set, Axar is showing right intent,” Siraj said. “Yes, we lost two wickets extra but Axar is set, he is showing good intent. We also have Rishabh (Pant) and Shreyas (Iyer) after that, so we shouldn’t think too much.”
Mehidy claimed three wickets after Shakib’s initial breakthrough, removing Cheteshwar Pujara (six), Shubman Gill (seven) and Virat Kohli (one). Shakib started the slide with the wicket of captain KL Rahul for two.
Axar Patel survived the day to stay unbeaten on 26 alongside night watchman Jaydev Unadkat (three), with first-innings heroes Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer yet to come in.
Talking about the decision to send the spin all-rounder as nightwatchman, he said, “Sending Axar is management’s call. I feel if there is a lefty and righty batter, then it will be difficult for the bowlers to adjust. So, I think because of that this call was taken.”
The 28-year-old pacer had taken two wickets, Mominul Haque (5) and Litton Das (73) as India dismissed Bangladesh for 231. However, he believes that along with Litton’s fightback, it was Nurul Hasan’s counter-attacking knock of 31 runs that swung the momentum in the hosts’ favour.
“The wicketkeeper came and started attacking and it changed the momentum and we conceded extra 30 runs but it is not something that we should be too worried,” he said.
Quotes courtesy: PTI with inputs from AFP