The batters are low on confidence, says Domingo
What is going wrong with Bangladesh's top-order batters? There is no simple answer to this question.
Following one debacle after another in Test cricket, the Bangladesh team management and players recently echoed the same sentiment: 'mentality' was the main culprit behind the failures.
But one could also question exactly how good Bangladesh's batters are in terms of proper preparation and sound technique after yet another purposeless top-order batting display in the second innings of the first Test against the West Indies in Antigua yesterday.
The dismissals of the top-order batters offered no clues as to whether they had any idea about the pace bowling they were going to face in West Indies.
However, Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo acknowledged the poor performance of the batters and said the score his side posted on the board is not enough while talking to the reporters after the end of the third day's play.
"It's not good. Too many soft dismissals and poor decisions with the bat in both of the innings, 103 runs in the first innings and 245 in the second, you've got to get more than that," Domingo said.
Captain Shakib Al Hasan and wicketkeeper-batter Nurul Hasan Sohan staged a fightback after Bangladesh were reduced to 115 for six at lunch during the third day's play and the two batters finally built the handsome partnership that their team had desperately needed.
Bangladesh started the second session trailing the West Indies' total by 47 runs and the pair's efforts enabled the visitors to avoid an innings defeat and take a slender lead.
Shakib completed his second fifty of the match and was batting with an attacking approach while Sohan was providing good support, dismissing the notion that the match would finish inside three days.
Bangladesh were staring at the prospect of defeat inside three days after closing the second day on Friday at 50 for two in their second innings, needing 112 more runs to make the West Indies bat again. West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite said that the first hour of Day Three would be crucial.
Left-handed batter Najmul Hossain Shanto and Mahmudul Hasan Joy looked to turn the tide in the first hour of the third day but Shanto was the first to depart, falling to a Kyle Mayers delivery which came in and kicked a bit off the surface, taking an outside edge to the slip cordon. Shanto's departure reduced the visitors to 64 for three.
Joy was joined in the middle by former captain Mominul Haque, who was looking for some runs after opting to leave his captaincy. But he did not last long. Having survived an in-swinging delivery from Mayers, which went for four streaky runs, the left-hander eventually succumbed to another in-swinger from Mayers soon.
The 29-year-old has scored a grand total of 28 runs in his last nine innings and his average, close to 60 not long ago, is now hovering around 37.
Coach Russell Domingo highlighted the lack of confidence of the batters has led them to yet another debacle.
"The batters are low on confidence at the moment, big players like Mominul [Haque], Shanto [Nazmul Hossain] are low on confidence. Having confidence is a big thing in the game of cricket, but at the moment, it's not there in the batters," Domingo added.
It looked as if Liton Das would provide some resistance in company of a patient Joy. However, after stroking a few gorgeous boundaries, Liton chased one way outside off stump against Kemar Roach, causing his downfall for just 17.
Bangladesh were 100 for four at that stage, precariously close to an innings defeat.
Joy's long vigil, featuring 42 runs off 153 deliveries, came to an end when he poked at a Roach delivery away from his body, with wicketkeeper Joshua da Silva taking a diving catch.
All those dismissals exemplified the poor technique of the Bangladeshi batters against quality deliveries.
Shakib and Sohan were in the middle when lunch was taken and they continued to frustrate the West Indies bowlers to bring some sort of respectability to what has been a generally ordinary effort by the tourists with the bat so far in this match.
Latest Score (Day Three)
Bangladesh 2nd innings
210 all out
(Tamim 22, Joy 42, Shanto 17, Liton 17, Shakib 63, Sohan 64)
West Indies 2nd innings
49 for three
(Campbell 28 not out, Blackwood 17 not out; Khaled 3-14)
West Indies need 35 runs to win.