“It’s a very difficult balancing the side at the moment” – Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo
By SMCS - Dec 18, 2022 2:13 pm
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Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo said that one bad session with the bat cost them the opening Test of the two-match series against India at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram on Sunday. India beat Bangladesh by 188 runs to go 1-0 up in the two-match Test series. However, Bangladesh could only manage 150 runs, conceding a big first-innings lead of 254 as well.

Bangladesh team

“(Goal) one is to compete. We know India are a good side but once again one really bad session with the bat has destroyed our chances in this Test match. I know 400 is a good score but it’s manageable in Chittagong. There is no way we should be bowled out for 150 in the first innings and that’s what’s lost us the game. Some really poor decision with the batters and that’s the most disappointing thing for me,” Russell Domingo said at the post-match press conference on Sunday.

“There is obviously a lack of confidence in the top-order there is no doubt about that. A young player (debutant centurion Zakir Hasan) who hasn’t played a Test before with us and he is confident at the moment and come in and shown us how to do it, playing really well. He has obviously come in to the Test match from the A side and also domestic performances. The rest of the guys obviously confidence is pretty low at the moment and not managing to find a way out of the slump at the moment. There is a whole host of players at the top five or six at the moment who haven’t performed as well as I would have hope and haven’t been consistent and that’s disappointing,” he further added.

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However, Russell Domingo has also said that he is not sure whether Shakib Al Hasan will be able to bowl again if he plays the next game and also added that it can affect the team’s balance in the second Test at Dhaka. However, Cricbuzz earlier reported that Shakib had informed team management that he will only play as a batsman considering his shoulder injury and pain in the rib as well. Although he bowled only 12 overs in the first innings he couldn’t bowl in the second innings.

“I am not a hundred percent sure whether he will be available to bowl. He’s definitely able to play as a batter which is an issue for us since we need an all-rounder. So at the moment he will need to be assessed in a day or two but at the moment fit to play as a batter,” Domingo said. “It is a tricky question. It is a good question. He comes across as very laidback, but when he is in the contest, he has pride in performance. Looking from the outside, you may think, ‘does he really care?’ but I know that he has a lot of pride in performances. He doesn’t want to be embarrassed out there. He is competing 100 per cent.”

Shakib Al Hasan

“He’s got one of our best records and got 80 in the second innings and he’s the captain of the side. So as a all-rounder when you are not bowling well, you are still worth your money with the bat and vice-versa. He’s worth his money with the bat. It’s a very difficult balancing the side at the moment. Our batting order is not confident and we also got bowlers who can’t bat. Not their fault because they are not there to bat but it leaves us a bit vulnerable with only playing four bowlers,” Russell Domingo again shared.

However, Bangladesh had to promote Yasir Ali to number three for the first time in the first Test match but the plan went in vain, as he scored four and five runs respectively in two innings as well.

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“We had to mix up the batting order suddenly because there was no one else. We wanted to get a right-hander into the top-order. He is a guy who did well in the couple of matches he played with us. He got some runs in New Zealand and then he got injured. He (Yasir) looks to score and looks to play nice and positive and that’s the reason we got him up at number three. We couldn’t bat Shakib, Mushfiqur, Litton or Sohan ( Nurul) at three and we wanted him there and it’s a good place to bat there at Chittagong because it’s a good wicket,” he said.

“It depends on the makeup of the team(whether Yasir bats at three or not). We were hoping Shakib would bowl a few overs there. It’s something I need to think about going forward. The nature of the wicket at Mirpur is different so we need to get an understanding of what it will be like before making a decision. But I don’t like chopping and changing that much and like to be fair to be players. So wherever he plays he (Yasir) needs to take his opportunity,” Russell Domingo concluded.