Bangladesh are currently playing a one-off Test against Afghanistan at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chattogram. Afghanistan won the toss and elected to bat first where Rahmat Shah scored a century and Asghar Afghan scored 92. They put up a decent total of 342. While chasing, Bangladesh were bowled out for 205, courtesy Rashid Khan‘s fifer and Mohammad Nabi’s three-wicket haul. According to Shakib Al Hasan, the Chattogram pitch was the “opposite” of what they expected it to be.
Shakib Al Hasan further shared he was surprised that the bowlers could take five wickets on the first day. They added four specialist spinners in their line-up. In the first innings of Bangladesh, only Mominul Haque and Mosaddek Hossain scored 52 and 48 respectively.
“We didn’t expect to play on this wicket, so the situation became difficult for us,” Shakib added. “We got the complete opposite of what we expected from the wicket. But it doesn’t mean that we can’t do well here. Good teams are those who can answer questions outside the box. We will try to give those answers.”
Following a dismal batting, Shakib Al Hasan was hopeful to find a way to bounce back in the game. He, although shared the pitch was not unplayable as Mosaddek and Taijul had played well and they could have scored a few runs, had they stayed at the crease. However, he said they were needed wrist spinners in the line-up.
“The difference is that they have wristspinners, we have fingerspinners. Nabi bhai took two wickets but our fingerspinners took all ten wickets. Their wristspinners were more effective, and without one on a flat wicket, it was difficult for us,” he said.
Shakib Al Hasan, however, is optimistic about their return in the game. He is expected to bounce back with the bowling.
“But then we have to bowl really well, which teams have done in the past in the second innings. Our bowlers have to do something magical, after which we have to depend on our batsmen,” he said.
To counter attack Nabi’s off-spin, they sent Liton Das at No. 3. He also said that Mominul Haque was batting well but he could have played the shot well that dismissed him.
“He plays spin well, plus they had an offspinner bowling a long spell with the new ball. We have three or four left-handers in our top order, so I thought that it was better to have a mix. I think we were partly successful, as he handled Nabi bhai quite well. He is more effective against left-handers than right-handers. Mominul was scoring runs quickly, so I wouldn’t say that he could have avoided that shot. He should have executed it better, so that even if it is not a six, he got a four,” he said.
Shakib, however, said that the batsmen should play carefully as the pitch isn’t offering enough bounce. However, the third day started pretty well for Bangladesh as Shakib picked up Ihsanullah Janat and Rahmat Shah in the consecutive deliveries in the very first over. They put up 56 runs for the loss of 3 wickets before lunch.