Bangladesh v NZ, 2nd Test, Mirpur, 3rd day October 23, 2013

Nasir unfazed by survival challenge

Bangladesh were nearly out of the contest when the sun finally made its appearance on the third evening of the Mirpur Test. By the end of the day's play, they were behind New Zealand by 137 runs. Survival has become their only option in the two full days remaining in the match, but it is a task they have not been too successful at in the Shere Bangla National Stadium.

The mind goes back to some of the recent failures when faced with survival in the second innings. It has happened at least once every year for the past six years except in 2009. But their arrival at the recurring scenario this time was due to their inability to capitalise after getting the big wicket of Ross Taylor early.

The wicket of Taylor in the fourth over of the morning was half the job done, if Shakib Al Hasan's statement from the second evening was anything to go by. They were targeting Taylor and Kane Williamson, but were blindsided by Corey Anderson's century. New Zealand's lower order had already showed what they are capable of in Chittagong with Trent Boult and BJ Watling putting on a big stand. This time, Watling was joined by No. 10 Ish Sodhi, and the pair have added 84 for the unbroken ninth wicket stand.

On the face of it, that last partnership sapped the remaining energy from the Bangladesh bowlers who lost their rhythm. But in their assessment later on, there was plenty of confidence.

"We have to bowl them out first," Nasir Hossain said. "We have to keep them within a 160-run lead. If we then score around 300 or 350 in the second innings, we have a chance to win the Test match. If we can bat long, we can force a draw. We have two days left but because this is Test cricket, there are changes in the tone of the game every session."

Nasir also hoped that the wicket remained as good as it has played the first three days. "They have only one spinner so if the sun is out, we will be in an advantageous position. They have four seamers, so the wicket is still fresh because it has been under covers.

"Pressure is quite natural, nothing comes easy at this level. We have to bat well in the second innings. We have to avoid the mistakes that we made in the first innings."

But the past doesn't inspire such confidence. Out of the nine previous Tests at this venue, on eight occasions Bangladesh have been defeated. Their chase against West Indies last year went bust when they were bowled out for 167 chasing 245. The most irresponsible of those third or fourth innings failures was the one against West Indies in 2011.

Most of the Bangladesh batsmen will have to curb their natural aggressive instincts, something that has caused their downfall in each of those eight past occasions. Nasir was buoyant about this team's chances but no one took him seriously.

When asked whether he would change his batting style in the second innings given the difficult state Bangladesh are in, Nasir countered, "How can you be sure we will even lose five wickets?" drawing laughter from the room.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • tahseen on October 26, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    He was corrwct indeed... the rain didn' let hiim play. What a prediction!

  • Dummy4 on October 23, 2013, 19:31 GMT

    I like Nasir's spirit and attitude. Never say die, as my friend James Bond used to say. We have an interesting history. Even the # 10 batsman has scored a ton. So with these Tigers anything is possible. Fight the good fight and all will be well, Inshallah.

  • Dummy4 on October 23, 2013, 18:44 GMT

    @ TheRisingTeam, I completely agree with you. I honestly don't see Bangladesh winning this test match, they might have a slim chance if NZ collapse in the second innings, assuming BD takes a decent lead. Saving this test match should be BD's priority, Marshall and Monimul need to play a critical role. They need to bat the whole day super defensively, but too much meat after EID will not help them :)

    I also felt Mushfiq's captaincy was a bit shady and impatient, I know our seam bowlers are pathetic but at least try them out properly. Also I don't understand why have fast bowlers in the team if they only bowl for 10-20 overs a day. The selectors should sort this out.

  • Dummy4 on October 23, 2013, 18:39 GMT

    You got point man(Syed). I cannot but agree with you. Anyways best of luck to Best of Luck to Bangladesh Team>>

  • Farhan on October 23, 2013, 18:28 GMT

    What a Shame. This was a test that we could have won but our batsmen throw it away in first innings and than our bowlers getting hammered like they are playing against the top team in the world. Shows the quality of our team. I think Nasir here made it clear that our boys gonna do. They are gonna be behind 200 runs than they will go out and chase every ball and get out even before that 200 run. Pathetic performance, Pathetic mentality

  • Golam on October 23, 2013, 18:17 GMT

    Who knows ?? BD may take those 2 remaining wickets in the first Two overs tomorow and the bat hole day & take a lead on 200/250 !! What NZ gonna do ? Chase that run ?? mmm ... interesting !! So don't say "not can do" !!

  • Amir on October 23, 2013, 18:14 GMT

    There is nothing else for Nasir to say. He has to keep it positive. Regardless of the pressure, BD have to keep things light and say the right things. Knowing our teams tendency, they will fight back when the chips are down but will lose when in a strong position. So I expect BD to fight back tomorrow but give it up at the end, unless rain helps us to draw. We all agree on that Rubel and Razzak needs to go. We do not have a place for such mediocore players. If Anamul can not perform in this innings, he should be benched too until he improves his footwork. Go Tigers! Hoping for a fightback.

  • Shipu on October 23, 2013, 17:21 GMT

    Nasir needs to be realistic. There is no way Bangladesh can score 300 runs and make New Zealand bat again. The next few days is where the real test begins and need to show to the world that Bangladesh can play test Cricket and draw the game. That means leaving every ball that is wide but I know that's not going to happen knowing how tempted the batsman are. Nasir batting has been disappointing in this series. I don't think Bangladesh will lose by an innings but very likely lose for sure and deserve to for an ordinary performance in the test.

    Why does management select Rubel and Razzak? their test records are terrible. Both averaging well over 70 with the ball and no wonder we couldn't wrap up the tail.

    Shakib deserves to be in a better team than Bangladesh in my view considering how hard he works.

  • Syed on October 23, 2013, 16:59 GMT

    Nasir we need a century from you, you are Mr consistent for Bangladesh and long due. You guys say this but nothing materialises and when laughter happened that means they know they will lose 5 wickets. A NZ loss is out of the question unless you set them 150-200 in final session which is unlikely...

  • No featured comments at the moment.