The visitors from India found themselves in a tight spot after being down 45 for four at the stumps on Day 3 in a tricky 145 chase. As many as 14 wickets fell on an engaging third day at Mirpur.
“I think we shouldn’t think too much now because we’ve only lost four wickets. We need about 80 (100) or so. We only need one batter to prepare, Axar shows the right intention,” Siraj said at the press conference.
At the stumps, Axar Patel (26) and Jaydev Unadkat (3) were at the crease, with India still needing another 100 points.
“Yes, we lost two more wickets but Axar is ready, he shows good intentions. We also have Rishabh (Pant) and Shreyas (Iyer) after that so we shouldn’t think too much.”
If India revises 145, it will be the third most successful fourth-inning run at this ground, with the top three scores being 209, 205 and 103.
After the loss of India KL Rahul (2) and Cheteshwar Pujara (6) at the start of the chase, head coach Rahul Dravid decided to dispatch night watchman Axar with over 15 overs remaining.
2nd Test: Mehidy Hasan leads Bangladesh fightback as India watch defeat
“Sending out Axar is the call of management. I think if there’s a left-handed and right-handed hitter it’s going to be hard for the bowlers to adapt. So I think that’s because of that that this call was taken,” Siraj said.
The 28-year-old from Hyderabad scalped two wickets — Mominul Haque (5) and Litton Das (73) – on day three as India knocked out Bangladesh for 231 in the second set.
“In that wicket there is an extra bounce for the fast bowlers so I was trying to hit the area as hard as I could because we were getting an extra bounce so our plan was to hit that area hard and as you can see , we have wickets.”
India squandered its two DRSs in the span of five deliveries. The first was in the eighth when Ravichandran Ashwin appeared to have trapped Najmul Hossain Shanto and skipper KL Rahul sent him to the third referee.
In the next lesson, Siraj was convinced he got Zakir Hasan after hitting him on the pads. Once again, Rahul went upstairs, only to find that the ball had kicked off the outside leg.
“Every time the ball hits the pad as a bowler, you feel it’s out. But it’s important that the bowler and keeper have a conversation before they go over,” Siraj said.
“Since the batter was in front of me, I was convinced for the review but it didn’t go the way I thought it would.”
While Litton Das led Bangladesh’s response with a 73-98, Siraj felt Nurul Hasan’s 29-31 counterattack changed the momentum.
“The wicket-keeper came and started to attack and that changed the momentum and we conceded another 30 points, but that’s not something we should worry too much about,” he said.
(With agency contributions)