There was no let off for Bangladesh cricket either on the field or in terms of the team’s management as a flurry of bewildering decisions at management level and bouncers from India pacers rattled the team.
The second Test, a pink-ball affair, had threatened to end inside two days with Bangladesh barely making it to stumps on Day Two due to Mushfiqur Rahim’s battling innings. But the Tigers were not left without scratches.
Liton Das and Nayeem Hasan had to be replaced by concussion substitutes Mehedi Hasan Miraz and Taijul Islam and on the second day, there were further worries about getting in an extra batsman before the third day after both Mohammad Mithun and Mushfiqur Rahim received blows to the helmet. With Saif Hassan already ruled out, Mustafizur Rahman was the only one left as concussion substitute.
Having had ample time to decide on a replacement for Mosaddek Hossain -- who has not returned to India due to personal issues and also injury -- but not taking any action, the board had yesterday decided to fly in in batsman Nazmul Hossain Shanto.
It was getting to the point of chaos. For a time being, it was not certain whether he was coming. The team management later decided not to send in the batsman.
“There were two more games going on today [Saturday]. The Emerging Cup final took place today [Saturday]. We did have backups but we didn’t expect unfortunate injuries like this,” BCB President Nazmul Hassan said.
To make matters worse, Mahmudullah Riyad, batting positively on 39, suffered a hamstring injury and retired hurt but the team management were expecting him to be able to bat on the third day. Mushfiqur Rahim was the only batsman standing, unbeaten on 59 as stumps were called on Day Two with the fall of Taijul Islam’s wicket. Bangladesh, trailing by 89 runs, were on the brink of defeat and reeling from injuries.
Hassan was flummoxed by Bangladesh’s decision to bat first -- a decision that had raised questions. According to him, both captain Mominul Haque and coach Russell Domingo had wanted to field first.
“I was really surprised by the decision to bat first. The coach and the captain both said they would field first when I talked to them the day before. I received a shock when they decided to bat after winning the toss. I don’t know if that was because of a lack of confidence,” he said about the batting disaster.
With three more days to go and the team staring at inevitable defeat, pacer Al Amin said that they would like to make India bat again. “We, the tailenders along with Mushfiqur bhai will try to make India bat in the second innings,” he said. A difficult task given the circumstances.