Taijul shows the way
Going into the India Test, the Bangladesh team management had just two options in hand as far as their team combination was concerned.
With Liton Das in the side, they could have gone with an extra batsman in order to remove the wicket-keeping burden from Mushfiqur Rahim and also further strengthen their batting order.
But that would mean that the Tigers would have to go into the game with one bowler less and in that case, Taijul Islam would have been cut. After all, he is not as sought-after as a Mehedi Hasan Miraz or a Taskin Ahmed.
Instead, they decided to field five bowlers, including Shakib Al Hasan, and as a result Taijul got his first game since the second Test against England in Mirpur.
While Mushfiqur did miss an easy stumping, the management will be glad that they selected the underrated slow left-armer as he was easily Bangladesh's best bowler in the first innings of the Test.
None of the bowlers were as consistent as Taijul. Shakib bowled full-tosses and deliveries down the leg-side, Kamrul Islam Rabbi kept bowling short, Taskin Ahmed was off line on a number of occasions and Mehedi was not as consistent either.
Taijul, on the other hand, bowled the right line to the batsmen for most parts of the innings. That is the reason why he bowled a 17-over spell yesterday morning and grabbed three wickets in his 47 overs.
In essence, Taijul did what the rest of the bowlers could not. On a flat wicket, which did not really have much on it, he consistently bowled in one area. That compelled batsmen to take risks against him and that is how he got them out.
Murali Vijay was bowled while trying to sweep the left-armer for a boundary, Ajinkya Rahane was caught while trying to force the ball through cover and Virat Kohli was trapped in front while trying to cut.
Bangladesh's plan, on this flat wicket, was always to stem the flow of runs. Unfortunately, Taijul was the only bowler who seemed to be implementing that plan successfully for most parts of the innings. This was something that Mehedi pointed out after stumps yesterday.
“Taijul bhai bowled very well. This is his first game since the England series. He did not play the last two Tests. Considering that, he needed a very strong mentality to [do well on his] return.
“He bowled a tight length and turned the ball as well. He bowled a number of wicket-taking balls and he was really good,” said Mehedi during the post-match press conference.