Bangladesh’s decision to bat first in Kolkata may look unwise after they were blown away for just 106, but it is the type of boldness that coach Russell Domingo said he wants to bring to the dressing room. Conventional cricketing wisdom certainly went with Bangladesh but there was also the perception that an inexperienced batting line-up was left to take on a red-hot fast bowling unit.
That plan which had already played out poorly for the visitors in Indore but Domingo said doing anything other than putting runs on the board would have been a negative approach.
“It was not a 30-over all out wicket. There’s no doubt that we didn’t bat well enough”
“Obviously, it was a terrible day for us but I really think it is important to understand that Bangladesh are not just here to serve up balls for India,” he said at the end-of-day press conference. “I know everyone was hoping Bangladesh can bowl first so India can get 400-450. But that’s not why we were here. We think the best way to win a Test match in India is to bat first. Ninety-nine per cent of the time you bat first in the sub-continent, on a good wicket. We have no qualms with the decision to bat first.”
In time, Domingo hoped Bangladesh can approach big games as calm as they approached the T20s earlier this month, when they won the Delhi game to go 1-0 up in the series.
“When we won the first T20, our dugout was calm and no one was jumping up and down. It is a conscious thing we are doing, by not being surprised when beating India. It has to become something that we expect to do. When you win the toss in India, doesn’t mean we will bowl first because we are scared of getting bowled out. We are trying to make those brave decisions that will benefit us in the long run. There’s going to be some hurt and disappointment now, but hopefully we can continue making those brave decisions and it will ultimately help us.”
“We are a long way behind in Tests. Virat Kohli has 26 Test hundreds while our whole team has 16 or 17. We have to address that”
Domingo said that the big gap in experience and performance between the two sides is making a big difference in this Test series. He cited the example of Virat Kohli having more Test centuries than the entire Bangladesh team to explain the gulf between the two line-ups. Domingo said that no matter how well they were prepared for the pink ball, that gap would not have shortened in a week.
“I wouldn’t say we were underprepared for the pink ball. India had similar time to train. There’s a big difference between the two sides, regardless of six or seven days of preparation for the pink ball.
“We are a long way behind in Tests. Virat Kohli has 26 Test hundreds while our whole team has 16 or 17. We have to address that, going forward,” he said.
Domingo said that the batting line-up is short in confidence too, and they have a number of issues to deal with, which will take time to get over. “There’s lack of confidence. There’s lack of experience against this type of attack week in, week out. It is a bit of mental, technical and confidence.
“It was not a 30-over all out wicket. There’s no doubt that we didn’t bat well enough. We are facing some really world-class bowlers and coming short. We have to deal with a whole host of issues at the moment.”