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News

Shakib: 'We have to create 13-14 chances to take ten wickets, other teams need nine'

Bangladesh were within sniffing distance of what would have been their first Test win over India when Mominul Haque dropped R Ashwin

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
25-Dec-2022
Shreyas Iyer and R Ashwin celebrate as Shakib Al Hasan wonders about the opportunity lost  •  BCB

Shreyas Iyer and R Ashwin celebrate as Shakib Al Hasan wonders about the opportunity lost  •  BCB

It was a case of so near and yet so far for Bangladesh in Dhaka, and after the three-wicket defeat to India, Shakib Al Hasan was left ruing his team's missed chances. Four chances were missed in the first India innings, and then, with Bangladesh three wickets away and India 65 from their target, Mominul Haque dropped R Ashwin at short leg, and that proved decisive in the end.
"It is slightly disappointing, as other teams don't miss the chances that we are missing," Shakib said after the game. "Those made the difference. We could have bowled them out for 250 instead of 314 [in the first innings]. There was a chance in the second innings [too]… But it is part of cricket. We fielded well in the T20 World Cup and the ODI series [against India], but we couldn't do it in the Test match. Maybe it happens because of a lack of concentration or fitness.
"We have to find out how better to concentrate for longer, and avoid making mistakes. Other teams don't give so many opportunities. We miss regulation chances. Our bowlers have to create 13-14 chances to take ten wickets. Other teams have to create nine chances to take ten wickets."
The chance came to Mominul shortly after Mehidy Hasan Miraz had completed his five-for with Axar Patel's wicket to leave India 74 for 7 on the fourth morning.
This was another full delivery from Mehidy. Ashwin tried to tap towards the covers but it went to short leg instead. On Saturday, Mominul had taken a similar, and even tougher, catch off Mehidy to send Virat Kohli back. This time, it went out.
Even then, Shakib said, Bangladesh could have created more chances and broken the Ashwin-Shreyas Iyer partnership; the two eventually took India home with their 71-run association.
Shakib was hopeful even when India were closing in on victory. But "when Miraz got hit for that six" by Ashwin, when the target was 16 away, he felt the game was gone.
"Here, losing three wickets quickly is quite normal," he said. "Getting a hat-trick was possible. I think Ashwin and Iyer both batted well on a pitch that wasn't easy. Credit to them. I think we tried in every which way. We fell slightly short, somehow.
"When you have taken seven wickets for 75 [74], you can expect to win. They needed 71 runs, we needed one wicket. It is difficult to say [what went wrong], but we tried everything. Perhaps we could have bowled better, maybe created more chances, especially on this type of pitch. [But] I am happy with the way we fought throughout the Test."
Looking back at the year gone by, though, Shakib was pleased, especially with the attitude shown by the team through 2022 when they won a Test in New Zealand and ODI series against South Africa (away) and India (at home).
"I felt that, overall, we had a great year in 2022," Shakib said. "Our mentality, especially, where we lacked, I think we have improved a lot. The sort of things we talk about in the dressing room, the type of leadership that's being created, we can have a different 2023.
"We should win all three Test series [all at home, against Ireland, Afghanistan and New Zealand] next year. We should have a T20 team ready in the next six months, one that will do very well in the 2024 T20 World Cup. We have a settled ODI side. We have lost just one home series since 2015 [against England in 2016]. If we can play as a team, and get contributions from every aspect, we should do well in the World Cup."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84