Tigers fail to adapt to Wagner's change | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 11, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:48 AM, March 11, 2019

Tigers fail to adapt to Wagner's change

Bangladeshi openers Tamim Iqbal and young Shadman Islam did all the hard work of batting against the new ball on a green Wellington surface in overcast condition after being asked to bat by New Zealand in the second Test at the Basin Reserve in Wellington yesterday.

It wasn't an easy task for the Tigers' openers, especially considering that the pitch was under covers for the first two days that were washed out by rain, which just aided New Zealand's already formidable pace attack.

Tamim and Shadman added a fifty-plus stand for the third consecutive innings as the visitors managed to survive the crucial first hour of the day, negotiating Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Colin de Grandhomme with positive intent.

But Shadman, after yet another promising start, departed while trying to check his defence off a Grandhomme away-swinger and edged to first slip on 27.

Things still looked stable for the Tigers -- a solid Tamim continued his brilliant shot selection both off the front foot and back and reached his fifty, while Mominul Haque joined him at the crease.

But things changed drastically since Neil Wagner was introduced into the attack in the 33rd over of the innings and Bangladesh lost nine wickets in the next 28 overs to be bundle out for just 211 within the first two sessions of the day.

It was the premeditated mindset from the batsmen -- expecting a barrage of bouncers from Wagner, much as he did in the first Test -- that took the Tigers away from their positive frame of mind.

Apart from his odd bouncers -- he struck skipper Mahmudullah Riyad and Soumya Sarkar's helmets -- Wagner also varied his length well.

The left-arm seamer actually bowled more back of a length deliveries than bouncers yesterday and among his 66 deliveries, Bangladesh batsmen left alone 20 while scoring 21 runs and surrendering four wickets.

Interestingly, his four wickets -- Tamim, Mohammad Mithun, Mominul and Mahmudullah -- for 28 were taken with short-of-length deliveries rather than bouncers.

Mominul, who survived a caught-behind decision through a review, was dismissed off the very next delivery — in pretty similar fashion to his dismissal in the first innings of the first Test in Hamilton.

It was a short-of-length delivery on the leg side targeting Mominul's rib cage which the left-hander did managed to get inside the line of but failed to take his gloves away in time and was caught behind.

Mithun also departed in identical fashion after surviving a caught-behind call through review. The right-hander edged a short-of-length Wagner delivery in the very next ball.

Tamim was caught at short fine leg after being caught in two minds about whether to go for a pull or a flick against Wagner and eventually paid a pretty similar price as Mahmudullah, who played a nothing shot at the end to get caught at square leg.

It is important to adjust and come up with a different strategy and Wagner did exactly that, and outfoxed an opposition expecting the same treatment as the first Test.

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