The Chattogram pitch was the "complete opposite" of what Bangladesh expected it to be, captain Shakib Al Hasan said after the second day's play, hinting that their line-up packed with spinners should have been enough for the ground staff to know what they were looking for. Shakib said he was surprised that his bowlers could take five wickets on the first day, but admitted that fewer cross-batted shots may have helped Bangladesh's cause when they batted.
Bangladesh are currently 148 runs behind Afghanistan's 342, after they collapsed to 104 for 6 in their first innings soon after the tea interval. Mominul Haque's half-century was the only retort as batsmen like Mahmudullah, Liton Das and Soumya Sarkar got into trouble trying to play the ball - which kept low occasionally - from the crease.
"We didn't expect to play on this wicket, so the situation became difficult for us," Shakib said. "We got the complete opposite of what we expected from the wicket. But it doesn't mean that we can't do well here. Good teams are those who can answer questions outside the box. We will try to give those answers.
"It is definitely disappointing, but there's no point talking about it. We need to find a way to come back from this situation, which is more important. Seeing our XI you can all figure out what type of pitch we expected. But I wouldn't call the wicket unplayable because of the way Mosaddek [Hossain] and Taijul [Islam] batted, but we could have applied ourselves better. They proved that it is possible to stay at the crease and also score runs. I think we could have scored more runs had we applied ourselves better."
Shakib bemoaned the lack of a wristspinner in his line-up, particularly seeing Afghanistan's trio - Rashid Khan, Qais Ahmed and Zahir Khan - trouble his batsmen. "The difference is that they have wristspinners, we have fingerspinners. [Mohammad] Nabi bhai took two wickets but our fingerspinners took all ten wickets. Their wristspinners were more effective, and without one on a flat wicket, it was difficult for us," he said.
Shakib, however, remained optimistic about a fightback. "I expect these two wickets to bat out at least the first session. If we can cut down the deficit by 70 or 80 runs, it will give us a big advantage. It will be a tough challenge but the way they batted, I can believe.
"But then we have to bowl really well, which teams have done in the past in the second innings. Our bowlers have to do something magical, after which we have to depend on our batsmen."
Reiterating that the Bangladesh batsmen should stay away from going deep into their crease - because the pitch isn't offering enough bounce - to play shots square of the wicket, particularly against Rashid, Shakib said, "He has a bit of pace in his bowling, and the wicket is [staying] a bit low, so he became quite effective. Those who tried to play him off the back foot, like [Mahmudullah] Riyad bhai and Liton, missed the ball. It kept low, which makes playing cross-batted shots difficult."