NEW DELHI: Pacer Mohammed Siraj is confident about India winning the second Test against Bangladesh and said on Saturday that there is nothing to worry about as one set batter can take the visitors to victory.
Visitors India found themselves in a spot of bother after they were reduced to 45 for four at stumps on Day 3 in a tricky chase of 145. As many as 14 wickets fell on an engaging third day’s play in Mirpur.
“I feel we shouldn’t think too much now because we have lost just four wickets. We need around 80 (100) or so. We need just one batter to get set, Axar is showing the right intent,” Siraj said during the press conference.
At stumps, Axar Patel (26) and Jaydev Unadkat (3) were at the crease with India still needing another 100 runs.
“Yes, we lost two extra wickets but Axar is set, he is showing good intent. We also have Rishabh (Pant) and Shreyas (Iyer) after that, so we shouldn’t think too much.”
If India overhaul 145, it will be the third highest successful fourth innings chase at this ground as the top three winning scores are 209, 205 and 103.
After India lost KL Rahul (2) and Cheteshwar Pujara (6) early in the run chase, head coach Rahul Dravid decided to send night watchman Axar with more than 15 overs left.
2nd Test: Mehidy Hasan leads Bangladesh fightback as India stare at defeat
<p>India suffered a top order meltdown chasing a small victory target of 145 after spinner Mehidy Hasan struck triple blows to keep alive Bangladesh’s hopes of a series-levelling victory.</p>
<p>The tourists were on a precarious 45-4 after 14 wickets tumbled on a frenetic day three — half of them in the final session alone.</p>
<p>Axar Patel, promoted to number four, was batting on 26 at stumps with nightwatchman Jaydev Unadkat on three at the other end.</p>
<p>Bangladesh’s lower middle-order, led by Litton Das (73 off 98 balls) and supported by Nurul Hasan Sohan (31 off 29 balls) and Taskin Ahmed (31 off 46 balls) counter-attacked to take their second innings score to 231.</p>
<p>If India happen to lose this game, the 118 runs scored by the last four Bangladeshi pairs would haunt them as much as not using a third spinner in Kuldeep Yadav on a track that became increasingly venomous as the match progressed.</p>
<p>KL Rahul (2), who had a horrendous game as a skipper as well as batter, would like to forget this game in a hurry.</p>
<p>Mehidy (3-12) dismissed both Cheteshwar Pujara and Shubman Gill stumped and dismissed Virat Kohli caught at short leg for one to compound India’s crisis.</p>
<p>In case of Rahul, he tentatively poked a Shakib (1/21 in 6 overs) delivery that turned enough to kiss the outside edge of his bat into the keeper’s gloves.</p>
<p>Pujara, for the second time, came out to play the delivery from Mehidy Hasan before it could turn. The ball hit his bat and pad before a crawling Nurul effected a smart stumping.</p>
<p>While Gill was stumped off a doosra, becoming Miraz’s second victim, Kohli had no choice but to come out late in the evening as the pitch, at times, was starting to resemble a snake pit with deliveries hissing past the willow.</p>
<p>Virat Kohli needed a DRS to save himself from getting adjudged leg before to Taijul Islam.</p>
<p>But in the first two sessions, it was Axar Patel (3/68) along with Mohammed Siraj (2/41) and Ravichandran Ashwin (2/66) who had Bangladesh on the mat at 113 for 6.</p>
<p>Ashwin dismissed Najmul Hossain in the second over of the day and Mohammed Siraj sent back Mominul Haque, whose 84 was the highest score in Bangladesh’s first innings 227.</p>
<p>Home captain Shakib Al Hasan played a loose shot and Mushfiqur Rahim fell cheaply too but Zakir Hasan made a patient 51 taking Bangladesh past the 100-mark.</p>
<p>Nurul Hasan came out and attacked the spinners in his little cameo of 31 off 29 balls.</p>
<p>Litton was celebrating his maiden IPL contract with some lusty blows and the 60-odd run stand with Taskin during which India also dropped a few catches which proved costly.</p>
<p>Jaydev Unadkat (1/17), the third seamer India used as they were “confused” looking at the greenish tinge, was used for only nine overs out of the 70.2 that they bowled.</p>
<p>Litton was dropped twice by Kohli, who also spilled a chance off Nurul (31).</p>
<p>”I feel we should not overthink that four wickets have gone. If one of our batsmen get set, there won’t be much pressure on us,” Mohammed Siraj said.</p>
“Sending Axar is management’s call. I feel if there is a lefty and righty batter, then it will be difficult for the bowlers to adjust. So, I think because of that this call was taken,” Siraj said.
The 28-year-old from Hyderabad scalped two wickets — Mominul Haque (5) and Litton Das (73) — on day three as India dismissed Bangladesh for 231 in the second innings.
“In this wicket, there is extra bounce for fast bowlers, so I was trying to hit the area as hard as possible as we were getting extra bounce, so our plan was to hit that area hard and as you can see we got wickets.”
India wasted both their DRS within a span of five deliveries. The first one was in the eighth over when Ravichandran Ashwin seemed to have trapped Najmul Hossain Shanto and skipper KL Rahul referred it to the third umpire.
In the next over, Siraj was convinced that he had got Zakir Hasan after hitting him on the pads. Once again Rahul went upstairs, only to find that the ball had pitched outside leg.
“Whenever the ball hits the pad as a bowler you feel it is out. But it is important for the bowler and keeper to have a conversation before going for review,” said Siraj.
“Since the batter was in front of me, I was convinced for the review but it didn’t happen as I thought.”
While Litton Das led Bangladesh’s fightback with a 98-ball 73, Siraj felt Nurul Hasan’s counter-attacking 29-ball 31 knock changed the momentum.
“The wicketkeeper came and started attacking and it changed the momentum and we conceded extra 30 runs but it is not something that we should be too worried about,” he said.
(With inputs from agencies)