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Playing Tests with one-day mindset

Talks of a close finish, resistance and grit from the Bangladesh batsmen went up in smoke on Thursday. The hosts had eight wickets in hand to bat the day out, but they succumbed rather meekly, reports Nilankur Das.

cricket Updated: Jan 22, 2010 00:48 IST
Nilankur Das

Talks of a close finish, resistance and grit from the Bangladesh batsmen went up in smoke on Thursday. The hosts had eight wickets in hand to bat the day out, but they succumbed rather meekly.

The wicket hardly showed any sign of wear and tear even on the last day. The bounce was mostly consistent. Nevertheless, Bangladesh kept losing wickets. Virender Sehwag constantly kept the cover region vacant, enticing batsmen to drive. And that's where Bangladesh's predominantly limited-overs mindset came to the fore.

On the verge of completing a decade in Test cricket, Bangladesh still have a lot to learn. Incidentally, former Bangla players like Habibul Bashar, Khaled Mashud, Akram Khan and even the current players believe their strength lies in batting.

This time, though, the fault lies with the batsmen. They didn't back their bowlers, who bowled India out in the first innings and then picked up eight wickets in the second. They first failed to overhaul India total and then were shockingly aggressive while chasing 400 plus total in the second innings.

The likes of Tamim Iqbal and skipper Shakib Al Hasan went for extravagant shots. They did get a few boundaries, but perished soon after. It appeared Bangladesh were playing an ODI.

Vice-captain Mushfiqur Rahim justified the approach. “We were asked to play our natural game,” he said. “We thought it would be difficult to survive on a fifth-day wicket, so we needed to be positive in our approach.”

Considering the fact that Bangladesh play a lot more one-day matches (215) than Tests (62) and their internationals hardly play in the domestic four-day competition, ‘natural game’ was exactly what was on display on Thursday.