Bangladesh’s demanding tour of India reached its last stop yesterday when the Tigers landed in Kolkata at around 3:00pm to take part in the second and final Test against India at the Eden Gardens from November 22. The toughest challenge awaits them in the West Bengal capital as they will play their first day-night Test against the top-ranked Test side, who will also be playing their first Test with the pink ball.
The Bangladesh team’s 10:30am flight from Indore, where Bangladesh lost the first Test inside three days, was delayed by two and a half hours. Before departure, pacer Al-Amin Hossain talked to reporters at the team hotel and said that the pink ball challenge would be more difficult for the bowlers than the batsmen. Because of the increased swing and movement that the ball is said to offer, the bowlers in the Bangladesh lineup will have a greater responsibility to control the swing.
How an old pink ball will behave is still uncertain. The seam movement coupled with the movement off the pitch will also mean that bowlers need that extra bit of control.
“It will be more challenging with the old ball than the new one. During evening, when the floodlights come on, there is an increase in the movement of the ball. From what I understood in practice sessions, it will be a challenge for the batsmen, but I feel that the main challenge here will be for the bowlers. The team that bowls the best will be ahead in this game,” Al-Amin said.
Al-Amin reiterated that even with the opportunity to train for two days in Indore before leaving for Kolkata, the defeat in the first Test set them back ahead of the second game.
“We are all excited about the pink-ball Test since it is a historic one. India are new to it and so are we. So, both sides will be enter uncharted terrains. I feel this will be a challenging one. We have been training for the past few days and we will also train in Kolkata for two days. So overall, with the poor result from the first Test, things are going to be very difficult. We are thinking of how we can play as a team and resist them in the Kolkata Test.” said Al-Amin.
Abu Jayed bowled well during the first Test, bagging four wickets -- all of top-order batsmen. Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Chetshwar Pujara fell prey to his swinging deliveries. While Bangladesh will once again look to the seamers, the focus will also be on the pacers since the pink ball is likely to get more movement.
“The ball is made for everyone. We have to hit the right areas. There are differences too. It is a much harder ball than the red one and it is easier to shine. I think it will be good, everything considered. The ball is very good and if the conditions remain okay then there will be big responsibility on the pacers. We have to bowl well, or else they will not be troubled since all their batsmen are world-class. They have two to three batsmen who are among the top 10 in the world. The pink ball will be a challenge for the bowlers. If we can play well then it will be an intriguing Test.”