CHATTOGRAM: With India in the driver's seat at the end of the second day in the first Test against Bangladesh, Indian pacer Mohammed Siraj has said that his plan was to bowl consistently at one area of stumps.
Useful knocks from Ravichandran Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav down the order and fiery spells from pacer Siraj and spinner Kuldeep Yadav put India in a commanding position at the end of day Two of the first Test against Bangladesh at Chattogram on Thursday, with the scoreboard reading 133/8 for the hosts in their first innings.
"My approach was to bowl consistent stuff. This is the kind of wicket, where if you try too much then you leak runs. So the plan was to bowl consistently at one area at stumps," said Siraj at a press conference at the end of the day's play.
Siraj also spoke about the "banter" with Bangladesh batter Litton Das, which saw the latter putting his hands near the ears suggesting that he could not hear him. After dismissing Litton, Siraj celebrated the dismissal with a finger on his lips.
"No nothing. It was just a friendly banter. I just told him to play sensibly since it is Test cricket, not T20Is," the bowler said.
He said that Test cricket is his favourite format and he feels more consistent in this format. The pacer said that he decided to use wobble seam once his incoming deliveries stopped coming back in 2018. "In 2018 the incoming deliveries had completely stopped. At that time my outswing was working better. So I was a bit confused as to why my in-swingers were not working. Then I decided to use the wobble seam because incoming deliveries are always a problem for batsmen. Because outswing is visible more clearly for the batsmen but when it comes in then it becomes difficult for the batsmen. So I used the wobble seam because it is quite effective like an off-cutter, I trust it more because I get success from it," he said.
At the end of the day's play, Mehidy Hasan Miraz (16*) and Ebadot Hossain (13*) were unbeaten for Bangladesh. India are in a commanding position with a 271-run lead in the match. After tea, Bangladesh resumed the play at 37/2 with Zakir Hasan (9*) and Litton Das (24*). In the first 10 overs of the first session, Siraj struck, taking his wicket tally to three by dismissing Litton for 24 and Hasan for 20. Bangladesh were reduced to 56/4. Following this, spinner Kuldeep Yadav started weaving a spin web Bangla Tigers could not get out of. He did not let his Bangladesh develop a long partnership, dismissing skipper Shakib Al Hasan (3), Nurul Hasan (16), Mushfiqur Rahim (28), Taijul Islam (0) with Bangladesh reduced to 102/8.
Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Ebadot Hossain made sure that the hosts did not lose any more wickets for the remainder of day two. Indian pacers struck in tandem to give Bangladesh early setbacks. Bangladesh were jolted on the first ball of their inning as Mohammed Siraj drew first blood to dismiss Najmul Hossain Shanto.
The pacer bowled a ripper to get an edge which a diving Rishab Pant pouched behind the stumps. The hosts had hardly recovered from the first wicket when Umesh Yadav sent the stumps cartwheeling. He removed Yasir Ali (4) who looked to play away from his body only to drag the ball onto the stumps. Bangladesh were reduced to 5/2 inside the fourth over.
Litton Das looked fluent in his brief stay before tea as he played some eye-pleasing strokes and guided Bangladesh to 37/2 at the end of the second session on day two. Litton Das played two stunning shots to Umesh Yadav that found the fence as the hosts looked to rebuild and recover from the early setback.
Debutant Zakir Hasan too struck Ashwin for two boundaries in the next over, accumulating much-needed runs.
Umesh leaked runs again as Litton struck three boundaries in one over of the pacer before the Bangladeshi pair took the team to 37/2 at tea. Resuming the second session, Ashwin got to his 13th test match fifty and added 92 runs for the eighth wicket before India was bowled out for 404 in their first innings. Cheteshwar Pujara (90) top-scored for the team.
The lower order chipped in with commendable knocks, coming from the bats of Ravichandran Ashwin (58) and Kuldeep Yadav (40). A resilient partnership of 55 runs for the eighth wicket from Ravichandran Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav took India to 348/7 at lunch.
India had lost the wicket of Shreyas Iyer in the first session, who scored 86. India resumed their inning at 278/6 on day two of the first test with Shreyas Iyer at 82 and Ashwin still to open his account.
Brief Score: Bangladesh: 133/8 (Mushfiqur Rahim 28, Litton Das 24, Kuldeep Yadav 4/33) vs India 404 (Cheteshwar Pujara 90, Shreyas Iyer 86; Mehidy Hasan Miraz 4-112)