Sluggish fielding, poor batting approach costs India their first T20I defeat against Bangladesh
Batting first India had posted a target of 148 for Bangladesh
Mushfiqur Rahim led Bangladesh’s chase with unbeaten 60 runs knock
Also read: Mohammad Shami’s knockout performance.
After nearly one week, pollution took a backseat for the first time in national capital Delhi as India’s T20I encounter with their new Asian rivals Bangladesh at Firoz Shah Kotal (Arun Jaitley Stadium) took the front seat.
As a man of the match Mushfiqur Rahim mentioned it, the Bangladesh team approached the game with ‘nothing to lose’ attitude. And it paid rich dividends for them as they managed to sneak through the target of 148 runs set by men in blue.
Bangladesh was led by their ace batsman Mushfiqur Rahim with an unbeaten knock of 60 runs on a pitch where batsmen from either side struggled to score.
Put in to bat first after losing the toss, team India led by Rohit Sharma in the absence of their regular captain Virat Kohli began to a slow start with batsmen struggling to find boundaries and to score runs freely. Bangladesh drew the first blood as Shafiul trapped skipper Rohit Sharma in front of the stumps in the last ball of first over of the innings after scoring nine runs.
Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul, in an attempt to rebuild the inning after the first blow, sucked innings strike rate before the latter departed to a poor shot in the seventh over of the inning with the scoring rate less than six runs an over. Shreyas Iyer tried to up the ante but fell short in an attempt to clear the ropes for the third time. Iyer managed to score 22 runs off 13 balls before being caught on the boundary.
The run-rate further dipped after Iyer’s departure with Pant and Dhawan, both struggling to score freely. India was struggling at 118-5 in 18 overs before some quick hits by all-rounder Krunal Pandya (15 from 8 balls), and Washington Sundar (14 from 5 balls) fetched 30 runs in final two overs, instilling hopes of defending the total in the Indian camp
For Bangladesh, Shafiul Islam and Aminul Islam bagged two wickets each while Afif Hossain picked one wicket.
Much like the Indian batting start, Bangladesh also received the first blow in the first over of their inning with Deepak Chahar striking in the fifth ball of the innings to dismiss Liton Das with eight runs on board. Thereafter Mohammad Naim (26 off 28 balls) and Soumya Sarkar (39 off 35) anchored the inning before Mushfiqur Rahim came to the crease and took the game away from the hosts.
Mushfiqur Rahim scored four consecutive boundaries in the penultimate over of the innings off Khaleel Ahmed when they required 22 off 12 balls, thereby taking the game completely away from men in blue. Khaleel conceded 18 runs in the over after managing to concede only two-runs in first two balls.
Host skipper Rohit Sharma in post-match presentation felt 148 was a defendable total on the surface and acknowledged the ‘mistakes’ that the team made on the field. He also added that the team is inexperienced and can learn from the defeat.
Bangladesh Skipper Mahmudullah, on the other hand, was all praises of his teammates and called the victory a team effort where ‘everyone chipped in.’
Youngster Rishabh Pant drew a lot of flak on social media over his errors in taking DRS wrong twice in a single over. He was compared to his predecessor and former India skipper MS Dhoni, who had nailed the art of taking shots on DRS.
Many on the micro-blogging site twitter slammed Krunal Pandya (who dropped catch of Mushfiqur Rahim at an important juncture of the match) and Khaleel Ahmed’s poor penultimate over bowling for the loss.
Skipper Rohit Sharma during a press conference after the match came into Pant’s support and added that he would not want to jump to a conclusion about the DRS taking abilities of the youngsters as it was too early for the Pant at the international level.
New BCCI President and former India captain Sourav Ganguly acknowledged the tough conditions in which the match was played due to the pollution and smoke in the national capital. He tools to twitter and thanked both the captains to have played the game in such conditions.