India vs Bangladesh: Visitors must not lose hope and go all out in morning session on day 2
Bundling out an in-form Indian batting line-up before tea on Day 2 would a lot easier said than done for Bangladesh, but for them to have any chance to do so, they must believe that's within their ability, and perhaps even in their right.
India have never lost a Test match at home when Virat Kohli has struck a century. On the six previous occasions he has done so, the hosts have won five times, while drawing just once. Bangladesh on the other hand have won just one Test away from home while bowling first, and in their three victories, away from home, they have never allowed their opponents to score more than 350 runs.
With India 356 for 3, riding on an unbeaten century from Kohli, at the end of Day One, in the one-off Test between the sides in Hyderabad, the writing is on the wall for Bangladesh, who are playing their first ever Test in India. The hosts are 19 games unbeaten in Tests at home and their rampant performance with the bat on Day 1, makes them firm favourites to extend this impressive streak.
So the past, which has offered little joy for the visitors, is once again pointing at a Bangladesh defeat.
But the Mushfiqur Rahim-led side must avoid looking at those statistics and believe that they can upset the odds to produce one of the greatest shocks in the history of the game.
It might be a very obvious thing to say, but Bangladesh will have to come out to the field on Day Two with a mindset that they can do something different from the ordinary. That's the first step they need to take if they are to entertain thoughts of making a game out of the Hyderabad Test.
Secondly, Mushfiqur's side will need to draw inspiration from the fact that they gave the Indian batsmen a few problems with the new ball on the first morning. With the second new ball just ten overs old, Taskin Ahmed and Kamrul Islam Rabbi will have some help from the pitch to trouble the Indian batsmen. However they will have to be on their money to get Bangladesh back into the match.
Ajinkya Rahane who is nearing his half-century has been struggling for form off late and faces a battle to keep his place in the team. So he might be shaky or endure a few nerves as he approaches what would be a crucial half century. That's where Bangladesh need to apply pressure to eke out an early breakthrough. A new batsman will find it tough to negotiate the swinging ball early in the morning and the visitors could just give themselves a window to get back into the game.
Obviously, the price will be on Kohli's wicket, but it would require something really special from Bangladesh bowlers to get rid of him, in this kind of form. They would be hoping he has a loss of concentration somewhere. And if he does, Mushfiqur Rahim's side must be on their toes to ensure they don't let the opportunity pass as doing that would spell the end of their challenge in this game.
The only way Bangladesh can remove Kohli is if they push him to do something silly and that will only happen if they can keep on taking wickets from the other end and expose the Indian tail.
The first hour will be crucial for the away team and if they fail to make the most of it, then could be chasing leather almost all day. The Indians have been ruthless in recent times when they have managed to get on top, and Bangladesh will have one last chance to prevent that on Friday morning.
Rahim needs to balance his captaincy and pick and choose times when he needs to attack and when he needs to defend. On Day One, he made some errors in that aspect and allowed the Indians to pile a big score. He may benefit from setting different fields to different batsmen, especially, against Kohli who could take the game away from the visitors very quickly.
Bundling out an in-form Indian batting line-up before tea on Day 2 is easier said than done. But for Bangladesh to have any chance of scripting a revival in this Test match, they must believe that's within their ability, and perhaps even in their right.
We go into the final day of the Test with all four results possible. Perhaps England’s batsmen will find the resolve that has for so long deserted them and bring their side home, perhaps India’s bowlers will carry the day – one thing though is for certain, without the efforts of Shardul they would never have even got this far.
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