Bangladesh’s newly appointed Test skipper Shakib Al Hasan saw his team getting rolled over for just 103 in their first innings of the Antigua Test against West Indies on Thursday.
It took the West Indies pacers just 32.5 overs to bundle out Bangladesh while the Tigers could take just two wickets after bowling 48 overs on the opening day.
However, at the end of the day’s play, Shakib said he was ‘very happy’ with the way his pacers responded after the batters surrendered against the host pacers.
Bangladesh are playing with a three-pronged pace attack consisting of Mustafizur Rahman, Khaled Ahmed and Ebadot Hossain.
Collectively, the three seamers bowled 33 overs where they conceded just 43 runs at a rate of 1.30 runs per over.
Shakib saw a glimmer of hope in the way his fast bowlers responded in such a dire situation.
“I feel that the pace department bowled really well. They have bowled well in partnerships. Mustafiz was great. Khaled also bowled really well with the new ball. Ebadot has been doing well. All three of them did well,” Shakib said in the post-day press conference.
Shakib loved seeing the fighting spirit of his pacers. According to him, after the disaster in the first innings the team had two options open, “We could’ve let them score freely, then we would bat in the second innings and the match would be over after that. The second was to try. If we could bowl them out for 100, 150, 200 even under 250 and then bat well in the second innings, who knows what could happen in the final innings. Every day is a new opportunity.”
Shakib went onto explain why he was happy even though West Indies are just eight runs behind Bangladesh’s first innings score with eight wickets in hand after the opening day.
“I am very happy today (Thursday). I am very happy that the whole team took this as a challenge. Everyone tried to perform well in the bowling department, which we didn’t get from the batsmen.”
Shakib was also a little miffed with the team’s fielding performance as they missed some half chances.
“We had a few half chances. If we could take them then this would’ve been the perfect day for the pacers, which hasn’t happened in a while. They are a bit unlucky. If we could’ve taken two more wickets we would’ve been in a better position.”
“If they were four down for 100, then we would have a chance to stay in the match by bowling them out within another 100. I’m not saying that it can’t happen now. As they still have quite a few batsmen remaining, we have to continue doing what we did today tomorrow (Friday). This will be the challenge for the bowlers. The wicket looks like it will get better for batting tomorrow. The challenge for us will be to maintain the discipline in bowling.”