Bangladesh long way away from safety, admits Shakib

"For us, it is still a long way in this Test as India is on the front foot right now," Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan said after the third day's play against India in the one-off Test in Hyderabad.

Shakib Al Hasan plays through the off-side en route to his half-century.   -  K. R. Deepak

Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Ali Hasan feels the morning session on Sunday will be crucial for the outcome of the ongoing Test. “I think that session will decide the fate of the match. We have to bat really well,” Shakib informed media at the end of third day’s play against India here.

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“For us, it is still a long way in this Test as India is on the front foot right now. We have to really bat well,” he reiterated. “Umesh (Yadav) bowled really well in the morning [on Saturday], moving the ball both ways. I needed to be positive and use the soft hands quite often to counter him,” Shakib pointed out.

"It was one of the best bowling efforts I had ever faced in Test cricket," were Shakib's observation of Umesh's bowling.

“Yes, even I am not happy with my dismissal. But, you must have seen I have been playing my shots. It is bad luck that one shot did not get connected (he was out for 82 going for a big heave on onside),” he said.

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On his captain Mushfiqur Rahim’s ability to come good with the tail quite often, Shakib remarked that the latter loves such challenging situations. “He likes to get involved in everything. He had to be patient [on Saturday] for he needed this half-century coming after a long gap. He did perfectly what the team needed [on Saturday],” Shakib said.

Mushfiqur was never advised to give up on wicketkeeping to focus on his batting, according to Shakib. “He loves to do both and that it good for the team too. He shows lot of character. It is not good for him or for the team if he keeps the wicket-keeping gloves away,” Shakib pointed out.

Umesh “the most improved”

Indian batting coach Sanjay Bangar didn’t believe that Ravichandran Ashwin struggles on a pitch which doesn’t offer assistance. “I don’t think so. If you look at the last five Tests, the bowlers have done an exceptional job even when they had to bowl first,” Bangar said.

“There is always a reversal of roles for the Indian bowlers. If we go abroad, it is the pacers who are expected to be dominant and back home it is the spinners. But, the small contributions by pacers at home in the recent wins are equally important,” he explained.

“Each fast bowler is different. Umesh, I think, is the most improved who can move both ways and [is] good both at the start of the innings and midway through [it as well]. Ishant bowls mostly back of the length while Bhuvi is more conventional. But, all of them have been playing a major role,” he said to another query.

“Credit should be given to Virat (Kohli) and Anil (Kumble) for the way they are developing the bowling attack, which should be good in all conditions,” Bangar said. “The Indian batsmen have always set a benchmark for themselves and have been in quest of excellence. The best part is that they always put their team's requirements ahead of their personal milestones,” the Indian batting coach said to a query.

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