India vs Bangladesh: Visitors must produce one of their best batting shows ever to sneak a draw
Bangladesh' task borders on the impossible in Hyderabad, but if they can produce their best ever batting display in Test match cricket, they can add a chapter of real significance to their history craving for glorious moments.
Despite a steely hundred from captain Mushfiqur Rahim on day four, Bangladesh couldn't get close enough to the Indian total or eat out time in the Test match. With neither achieved, their chances of drawing the game shrunk considerably. After a breezy second innings, India set the visitors a daunting target of 459 runs with four sessions of the game to play.
With the pitch turning, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja turned the screws on the visitors who lost three second innings wickets on day three. Things could have been far worse for them had it not been for the Decision Review System as Shakib Al Hasan extended his stay at the crease after a successful review.
Bangladesh ended the day at 103 for three, and with over 350 runs needed to win, but the possibility of that is all but gone out of the window. So that leaves them with at least 90 overs to play out without losing those remaining seven wickets on a track that's deteriorating by the minute, and against a ruthless Indian bowling attack. Tough. Incredibly tough!
India's form, their track record and the visitors' poor Test history would point to only one result and that would be an Indian win. But cricket being cricket, funny things are always around the corner. For Bangladesh though, they don't have to look too far behind for inspiration. On day three, Bangladesh went through the day losing just six wickets, a repeat of which would be enough to secure a them the draw. However, the pitch on day five would be far more difficult to play on than Saturday, and the pressure of the final innings would certainly play a part.
Bangladesh posted a 600 plus score in testing conditions in New Zealand against a very good bowling attack. Their heroes in that innings were Shakib and Mushfiqur. Fortunately for the visitors they still have Shakib at the crease and Mushfiqur is yet to come in. However, with the Indian spin duo of Ashwin and Jadeja operating in tandem, the visitors would require a collective effort from the remaining batsmen to pull off what would be nothing short of a miracle.
Of course, Shakib and Mushfiqur will once again have to play leading roles if that has to happen, but they would certainly require solid support from all the batsmen around them. Mahmudullah, Mehedi Hasan and Sabbir Rahman in particular will have to bring all their abilities to the fore, to aid Bangladesh's cause.
Their task borders on the impossible in Hyderabad, but if they can produce their best ever batting display in Test match cricket, they can add a chapter of real significance to their history craving for glorious moments.
'Nothing is impossible' and 'United we stand, divided we fall', might be some of the biggest cliches in the world, but for Bangladesh that has to be their mantra on day five.
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