'Didn't want to risk Rubel'
"Is the air conditioner working," a smiling Chandika Hathurusingha asked the BCB's media manager as soon as he entered the media room at Fatullah yesterday evening after the first day's play.
On Tuesday the coach had spent a sweaty 20 minutes explaining Bangladesh's target in the first Test in a boiling room without the luxury of a working air conditioner, but fortunately they were functioning properly yesterday.
Throughout the disappointing day for the hosts, which saw India's openers pile on a 239-run stand for the opening wicket -- their highest against Bangladesh -- the main issue doing the rounds was Rubel Hossain's exclusion.
In a rare move, the Tigers decided to field just one pacer and four spinners in the side and that left many fans and journalists scratching their heads.
"Rubel's thing is that he is coming after an injury. He was not a hundred per cent. The other reason is the wicket.
"We thought that if Rubel plays, he has to bowl a lot on this flat wicket and then there would be a chance for a recurrence of his injury because he didn't get to play the practice matches either," Hathurusingha explained.
"We picked the team we thought was good for the wicket and according to our strength. I think we created chances, but a number of things didn't go our way. Had we taken those opportunities, it would have been a different story," he added.
Hathurusingha further explained that they wanted to keep the pacer fit for the one-dayers and give the ODIs their best shot.
"If we win at least one ODI we have a chance of qualifying for the Champions Trophy," remarked the coach. This explanation was countered with the question that why Rubel was picked for the Test in the first place.
"It's not that he is not fit, he is not fit enough to bowl on this wicket," remarked the coach.
"To be honest this is probably the flattest wicket I have seen [in the country] so far. It's close to the one we played in Khulna."
Prior to the start of the Test, the Sri Lankan was the only member from the team management who stated that the hosts would go for a win and he repeated that yesterday. While the words were the same, there was a clear difference in the tone.