1st Test, Day 5: Playing Tests after five-six months shouldn’t be an excuse for performance, says Shakib

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan feels his team playing Tests after six months should not become “an excuse” for the huge 188-run defeat to India in the first Test at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium on Sunday.

In chasing a mammoth 513, Najmul Hossain Shanto (67) and debutant Zakir Hasan (100) had a 124-run opening partnership, including being wicketless in the first session on day four, giving Bangladesh a glimmer of hope for victory.

But post that, wickets fell in heap and despite Shakib making an attacking 84, they were all out for 324 in their second innings of the match. Bangladesh were earlier pushed on backfoot when they were bowled out for 150 in their first innings.

With Shakib as well as Ebadot Hossain not bowling in India’s second innings due to injuries, the match slipped out of their hands despite fighting hard and making the visitors’ work hard in getting wickets.

“It was a good wicket to bat on, but we didn’t bat well (in the first innings). We played Test match after 5-6 months, but that shouldn’t be an excuse for how we performed. Lot of credit to India for how they played in the game. They bowled in partnerships and created pressure,” said Shakib in the post-match presentation ceremony.

For Bangladesh, Zakir was a huge positive to come out, scoring a century on Test debut in the chase off 224 balls, and becoming the fourth batter from his country to do so. His selection for the first Test came after making a heroic 173, which included 16 fours and three sixes, for Bangladesh A side against a strong India A team in Cox’ Bazar last month.

“Zakir has been scoring lots of runs in domestic cricket. He was selected on the basis of it and he did really well in the Test match. Hopefully many more hundreds to come,” added Shakib.

With Bangladesh now 1-0 behind in the two-match series, Shakib signed off by saying his team needs to play well on all days of the match, especially against a formidable Indian team.

“You can’t bowl well in one inning and bad in the other one. Similarly can’t bat well in one inning and not in the other one. We have to play good cricket for all five days. We have to play four good innings to be able to get a result, especially against India.”

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