Bangladesh gave India a run for their money in the second and final Test in Dhaka but dropped a couple of easy chances and missed a decisive stumping opportunity to allow KL Rahul and his men to win the game by just three wickets. The hosts missed one stumping and dropped three catches, including an easy one of R Ashwin on day four, and skipper Shakib al Hasan didn’t shy away from criticising his team’s fielding.
Bangladesh could only manage 227 in the first innings but managed to restrict India’s lead to 87. They then got 231 in the second essay but a target of 145 didn’t look threatening on paper. However, Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Shakib didn’t give up and reduced India to 74/7 at one stage but that’s when Shreyas Iyer and Ashwin joined hands and got India home.
"It is slightly disappointing (missing catches). Other teams don't miss the chances that we are missing. They made the difference. We could have bowled them out for 250 instead of 314 (in the first innings). There was a chance in the second innings, but it is part of cricket," said Shakib after Bangladesh lost the series 0-2.
"We fielded well in the T20 World Cup. We fielded well in the ODI series, but we couldn't do it in the Test match. Maybe due to lack of concentration or fitness. We have to find out how to better concentrate for longer, and avoid making mistakes. Other teams don't give so many opportunities. We miss regulation stuff. Our bowlers have to create 13-14 chances to take 10 wickets. Other teams have to create nine chances to take 10 wickets."
Bangladesh didn’t win the match but Shakib was impressed with how his team fought till the very end. The spin-bowling all-rounder also heaped heavy praise on Iyer and Ashwin who put on an unbeaten stand of 71 and saved India from an embarrassing defeat. "I think Ashwin and Iyer both batted well on a pitch that wasn't easy. Credit to them. I think we tried in every which way. We fell slightly short, somehow,” said Shakib.
"There's no regret. I think we fought well in the whole Test. If we continue having this mentality in future Tests, we will get better results. There's regret not winning a close match but at least we are getting close. Hopefully next year there'll be a better result next year. We have 3-5 Tests in 2023. I expect to win all three series, considering the teams we will be playing."
Bangladesh are scheduled to play five Tests in 2023 and all of those games will be played at home. Shakib said there need to be more first-class matches if Bangladesh want to improve in the longest format of the game. "We need to introduce more first-class matches to do seriously well in Tests. A player with 50-70 first-class matches is a lot different than someone who has played 8 or 10 first-class matches.
“I am sure most of the Indian players have more than 100 first-class matches under their belt. I don't play domestic cricket for a long time, but even those who are playing, how many do they play? They will need 10 years to reach 80 first-class matches. If we could have done that in five years, we may have better Test players.”