Bangladesh v India, 2nd ODI, Mirpur June 17, 2014

Batsmen show no stomach for fight

The conditions were difficult for batting in Mirpur, but both India and Bangladesh batted as though they were playing on a flat pitch

Mirpur wore a forbidding grey on Tuesday. Rain made a promised appearance and disrupted play for two and half hours. The game resumed, but the sky refused to clear. Lateral movement was almost assured. This had become the first session of a Test, but neither India nor Bangladesh paid proper mind to the change in conditions.

The batsmen needed to be smart about their scoring areas. Survival should have taken precedence, especially when the match had been reduced to 41 overs and the D/L method placing a premium on wickets. Yet even a man in form like Robin Uthappa went for an awful hoick 14 balls after the rain break to lob a simple catch to mid-off. Tamim Iqbal, another opener, pranced down the track and nicked to the keeper. His target was only 106.

Stuart Binny wafted at a back of a length delivery wide outside off stump and edged it. Mahmudullah offered a lazy drive and his open face was snapped up at gully. This was not the average limited-overs encounter in the subcontinent. The ball was zipping about and it's holders only needed to place it in the right areas. The play was entirely in the batsmen's hands but neither team was willing to guts it out. In the end, the second ODI went down in history as the lowest scoring one for the loss of all 20 wickets.

Credit should be heaped on Bangladesh's 19-year old destroyer, Taskin Ahmed, but he was bowing at batsmen who had chosen to hit their way out of trouble when another rain interruption, or even a washout, could not be ruled out. The majority of Bangladesh's menace came in the form of two bowlers - the leader Mashrafe Mortaza and the debutant Taskin. India succumbed to their third-worst collapse in terms of overs faced.

Cheteshwar Pujara spent the longest time at the crease - 66 minutes of being beaten or enduring outside edges. He could not ferret out any singles. He had waited, but waited too long. The batsmen who followed him took a different route and only one of them reached double-figures. No one tried to bat the full 41 overs.

Bangladesh were worse, stumbling to their joint-worst score in ODIs. Binny's medium-pace combined well with the conditions and he had three wickets before he had completed his second over - a flick cut short by midwicket, an on-the-up drive caught at gully and a nick down leg to the keeper. Reward for persistent bowling without breaking a sweat. It was that sort of "damp and sticky" pitch that was "ideal to bowl" on, in the words of Binny himself, but an international game merited a better display by the batsmen.

At least that was what the sparse crowd had come in and stayed through the rain for. Every Bangladesh wicket had them clutching at their hair. The emotion seeped into the press box too, a merry place, even when the home side falls short of expectations. Today the atmosphere was tinged with additional excitement, born from seeing a genuine quick run through the opposition. The racket was loud and genial, their appreciation for Taskin's wholehearted display was as clear as the smile he wore when walking off the field. They were all wary, though, and in the end the happy buzz was gone, substituted by a jarring creaking of the chairs they were sat on.

It was bowlers' day out in Mirpur and they had nothing opposing them.

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ashok on June 18, 2014, 12:42 GMT

    @ramli: Pl. do not make an issue out of nothing!There was no defence of Indian batting but only questions on 5 Indian batsmen being given out LBW vs. NO LBW's for BD batsmen. There was one BD Umpire. As for Pujara I do not have to defend his batting. His test averages are amongst the best in the World. That speaks for itself. Best ODI batsmen are averaging a S/R around 65 to 75. Pujara's S/R even in Test matches is around 60. He requires no defence from me. He is still the best Indian batsman with correct technique.

  • Dummy4 on June 18, 2014, 12:32 GMT

    If Pujara fail in ODI then Should try Gambhir In middle order. even in last world cup, he played in no-3 & Kohli played in No-4. It will give stability in middle order. Then with Raina & Dhoni we would have more solid middle with lot of firepower.

  • Muhammed on June 18, 2014, 11:24 GMT

    A big blow to BD captain and fans! Time to learn from the young India captain - Raina who has kept his cool head. No cheap talks, no arrogance... all talks by bat & ball...Good to see this from Indian players. Well done Young Men in Blue.

  • Dummy4 on June 18, 2014, 10:32 GMT

    APPLAUD THE BEST BOWLING RESULT BY MR. BINNY. We have seen many times, hick ups when we get 7/8 wickets and then release the noose.Binny showed his capacity to not to loose the momentum. This could well be the best - 4.4 overs 2 maidens 4 runs and 6 wickets!!!!!!

  • Muthuvel on June 18, 2014, 10:30 GMT

    I think Ind/BD and Pak are the worst when it comes to playing in swinging conditions..very poor game from both teams. BD was more haphazard in their approach when they only had limited runs to chase and the pitch was not doing as much as it was n Indian innings and yadav was spraying a bit.

  • Dummy4 on June 18, 2014, 9:44 GMT

    Based on what we witness in the game against Bangladesh on slightly bowler helpful conditions, both team need to sit down and work on their batting and more over they need to think about "Waiting Game". Indian batsman were poor to say at least, umpiring not world class from local Bangladesh side and players like Rahane, Pujara, Rayadu, Binny need to talk to the coach about their batting approach. Binny was good with bowling thanks many to approach by BD batsman rather than his 120km swing bowling but credit to Mohit to create pressure from other end that's really helped Binny picking up important wicket. And for BD, the amount of exposure they are getting, they should win matches like these. Give half the opportunity given to BD to Ireland and they will beat all the test playing nation quite easily. ICC seems kind to BD and not too kind of Ireland. If you want Cricket to be global sports, give talent the opportunity than the politics around it.

  • Dummy4 on June 18, 2014, 8:38 GMT

    seriously BD should re think their international cricket

  • RAJARAMAN on June 18, 2014, 8:18 GMT

    @Nampally ... you are searching for non-cricketing reasons for defending Pujara's failure ... he simply did not deliver when it most mattered in this match ... he neither showed his test-batting approach (like Dravid did before) nor tried to innovate in ODI mode (like Raina does too often) in this match ... he appeared fish out of water most of the time ... furthermore, he is a poor runner between wickets ... in modern days, even test cricket demands this in crisis ... so, he is a misfit for ODIs ... let us admit it and allow him to prosper in test cricket

  • GAURAV on June 18, 2014, 7:55 GMT

    People are saying what will happen in england to indian batsmen. My answer - they will score heavily and beat england comprehensively. Sam talks of failure were on when India went for champions trophy. Indian batsmen played excellently in South Africa as well. And by the way when no one is ready to give credit to binny based on 1 performance why everyone is ready to criticise Indian batsmen based on 1 performance?

  • Senthil on June 18, 2014, 5:19 GMT

    The way Raina batted in this pitch showed he has talent and class but he lacks the temperament. Had he went on to score a fifty here, that would have raised many eye brows and I believe he is a real hard working batsman then the likes of S Dhawan and Rohit Sharma. This also showed how bad Rahane and Uthappa in swinging conditions. I m not sure how Rahane is going to play Anderson in England despite if he bats at No.6. I won't take Raina as well there neither jadeja. I think except Pujara and Kohli all others may suffer once again in England and India need batsman who can play well in swinging and seaming conditions. Raina should be tried again in tests?

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