Pressure released by lack of pacers | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 16, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:11 AM, November 16, 2019

Pressure released by lack of pacers

Bangladesh took to the field in the morning session on Day Two hoping to find means to thwart the India batting line-up from getting a big score after starting the day with an overnight score of 86 for one.

The means were pretty much going to be what they were on Day 1: the pace unit. India had shown what was possible and Bangladesh needed to replicate those scenarios. 

Ebadot Hossain and Abu Jayed Rahi started proceedings and it was the latter who got the ball talking in the morning session.

At good pace, he got the ball to swing, mostly inwards to the batsman, and used the seam in a way that was enabled lateral movement. 

But just like on Day 1, the cricket gods did not smile on him right away. Cheteshwar Pujara, batting on 43, tried to cut one away but Rahi got that bit of extra bounce and produced the edge at the start of the morning session.Mehedi Miraz tried to get set at slip, but his reaction time was not adequate and he could only get his hands to the ball from a bad stature before it raced away for four. It was another case of slip catching letting Rahi down after Imrul Kayes had dropped Mayank Agarwal, then on 32, on the first day.

However, not to be thwarted, he kept bowling in the right areas and, most importantly, trying to get something out of the wicket with good seam position. 

Mehedi had gone off after the ball did some damage to his fingers, but Rahi once again got Pujara to drive and induced another nick. This time substitute fielder Saif Hassan, on for Mehedi, completed a slip catch to give Rahi his second scalp of the game. 

It was time from Virat Kohli to take over proceedings but he was unable to counter an inswinger, his head slightly falling over as Rahi trapped him in front. The umpire said not out but captain Mominul Haque wanted to review and Bangladesh got their man.

It was indeed a Herculean task for the Tigers against a strong batting unit and soon it became clear that having only two pacers was an error in judgement.

Ebadot had bowled a steady line during his first five-over spell, with Rahi at the other end, but the former could not extract much from the pitch.

At one point after the two dismissals in the morning, Bangladesh bowled with four slip fielders. The pressure was there and a few balls beat the bat of even the most formidable batsman. 

However, with only two pacers and both bowling in tandem, their spell had to come to an end and Mominul banked on Taijul Islam and Mehedi Hasan Miraz. 

It was at that point that Agarwal and Ajinkya Rahane started to milk the bowling, picking up singles and boundaries with ease. 

Mehedi did get the umpire to raise his finger after trapping Agarwal in front of the stumps but the batsman reviewed and overturned the decision.

The pitch was starting to become easier to bat on as lunch was called. Even with a pacer bowling at one end with a spinner, the pressure simply was not there anymore with India batsmen both using their feet to spinners and taking them for runs. 

India had shifted gears with Bangladesh unable to capitalise after two wickets in the morning and the decision to find safety with an additional batsman instead of a pacer was looking more ridiculous by the minute after a first innings score of 150. It was simply too easy against Taijul and Mehedi for a large part of the partnership between Rahane and Agarwal.

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