Bangladesh went into the second Test against West Indies with a spin-heavy attack, but two days into the game, the tactic hasn’t worked, with the home team finding themselves 105 for 4 in reply to West Indies’ 409 all out.
Tamim Iqbal, who was dismissed in the last session of the second day for 44, said that the pitch at the Shere Bangla National Stadium hasn’t matched his side’s all-out spin plan, and although the surface couldn’t be blamed for the four wickets Bangladesh lost on the second day, the mismatch has had a bearing on their overall strategy going into this game.
“The wicket is extremely good even when we went out to bat today,” Tamim said. “None of our batsmen got out to great deliveries or due to something out of the wicket. All four were errors by the batsmen. If we were two down, we would have felt that we were in a better position. Since we lost four wickets, they are on top. We will get back into the game if we can have a 100 or 150-run partnership.”
Like they have done in the past five years in home Tests, Bangladesh picked an XI with three spinners and one pace bowler in this game too. But over the first two days, they have only found slow turn with a bit more bounce than the pitch at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium where the first Test was played.
“Our plan wasn’t for this wicket,” Tamim said. “When a home team is picking three spinners, it is not rocket science to know that we expected from the wicket. We went ahead with a plan, but now that the wicket didn’t support the spinners, there’s bound to be talk about it. We went with the same combination against West Indies in 2018, and we were very successful.”
“None of our batsmen got out to great deliveries or due to something out of the wicket. All four were errors by the batsmen.”
The opener also credited West Indies’ batting, which has been on an upswing since a remarkable chase of 395 to win the first Test.
“We wanted to take early wickets today but the wicket was really good,” he said. “It didn’t help our spinners. They also batted exceptionally well. (Alzarri) Joseph played well for his 80-odd, and the wicketkeeper (Joshua Da Silva) did well. Not everything happened because of our mistakes. Credit where it’s due.
“They played some exceptional cricket on the last day in Chattogram, otherwise we were on top for the first four days. However, they have played better cricket than us in this Test.”
The nature of the surface offered hope for Bangladesh’s middle order to rescue the team, with the team relying on the fifth-wicket pair of Mushfiqur Rahim and Mohammad Mithun to stitch a substantial partnership together.
“The wicket hasn’t behaved in a way that should worry us,” Tamim said. “Our first session is very important. We have lost four wickets, and we don’t have much batting left. A lot depends on this partnership, which will have a bearing on the rest of the game for us.
“You must have the belief. Liton is a very capable batsman. Mehidy had a good first Test. It is our fault that we are in this situation. We are in this position because of our errors.”
Tamim, who blamed himself for playing an uppish drive off Joseph after he had been set on 44 off 51 balls, said that positive intent was the way to go for the Bangladesh batsmen.
“I didn’t think I was aggressive. I had good intent,” he said. “Apart from the shot that I got out, I probably didn’t play too many false shots. I thought we shouldn’t go into this innings with a very defensive mindset. If you keep on playing to the merit of the ball, you are going to be fine. But the shot that I played, was not on.”
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84
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