Bangladesh suffered a humiliating loss in the one-off Test against Afghanistan which not only dented their spirit but has also severely impacted their morale as long as the red-ball format is concerned. With the buzz around ICC World Test Championship going strong, Bangladesh will be eager for a change in fortune to improve their record in Test cricket. Taking the whole blame of the team’s poor outing in the only Test versus Afghanistan, skipper Shakib Al Hasan has come down hard on the whole batting unit and was particularly critical of his own performance.
Rashid Khan-led Afghanistan dismissed Bangladesh cheaply (205 and 173) in both innings of the Chattogram Test leaving very little space for the bowlers to do the job. Rashid, who bagged the ‘Man of the Match’ award picked up 11 wickets and scored a crucial fifty for Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Bangladesh skipper Shakib scored 55 runs in the Test and managed to scalp just 5 wickets.
“The whole blame goes on my shoulders,” Shakib said. “I was very nervous when I came out to bat, and got out the first ball and it was my fault. I should have taken more responsibility and could have avoided the cut shot. We had to play only one hour and 10 minutes, and I got out the first ball. So it became harder for the team. The dressing room would have felt more comfortable if I had stayed out.”
The world number two all-rounder also rued his dismissal in the 2nd innings of the Test when he edged the first ball after the rain break in the final hour of play on Monday. Batting on 44, Shakib edged a Zahir Khan delivery to wicketkeeper Afsar Zazai, while his team still needing to survive a minimum of 9.2 overs to defeat.
The left-hander also expressed unwillingness to lead the team but understood the team needed a senior figure in the role. “I think it will be ideal if I did not have to be the captain. From a personal point of view, it will be good for my cricket. If I have to take leadership, then we must have a discussion about a lot of issues”.
Chasing a target of 398, Bangladesh was bundled out for 173 runs on the fifth and final day of the match. On a rain-affected day, the first two sessions were called off and tea was taken early. Shakib and Soumya Sarkar built a brief partnership of 18-runs for the seventh wicket before the former was sent back to the pavilion by Zahir Khan. Shakib played a knock of 44 runs, the highest for Bangladesh in the second innings.
Mehidy Hasan joined Sarkar in the middle and the duo built a 23-run stand but that could not last long as the former’s wicket was taken by captain Rashid Khan.
Rashid Khan struck again and found Taijul Islam, who had just come into bat, in front of the wickets. Islam was dismissed for a duck.
Sarkar’s effort to avoid a defeat went in vain as he lost his wicket to Rashid Khan and the team was bundled out for 173.