Visitors India found themselves in a spot of bother after they were reduced to 45 for four at stumps on Day 3 in a tricky chase of 145. As many as 14 wickets fell on an engaging third day’s play in Mirpur.
“I feel we shouldn’t think too much now because we have lost just four wickets. We need around 80 (100) or so. We need just one batter to get set, Axar is showing the right intent,” Siraj said during the press conference.
At stumps, Axar Patel (26) and Jaydev Unadkat (3) were at the crease with India still needing another 100 runs.
“Yes, we lost two extra wickets but Axar is set, he is showing good intent. We also have Rishabh (Pant) and Shreyas (Iyer) after that, so we shouldn’t think too much.”
If India overhaul 145, it will be the third highest successful fourth innings chase at this ground as the top three winning scores are 209, 205 and 103.
After India lost KL Rahul (2) and Cheteshwar Pujara (6) early in the run chase, head coach Rahul Dravid decided to send night watchman Axar with more than 15 overs left.
2nd Test: Mehidy Hasan leads Bangladesh fightback as India stare at defeat
“Sending Axar is management’s call. I feel if there is a lefty and righty batter, then it will be difficult for the bowlers to adjust. So, I think because of that this call was taken,” Siraj said.
The 28-year-old from Hyderabad scalped two wickets — Mominul Haque (5) and Litton Das (73) — on day three as India dismissed Bangladesh for 231 in the second innings.
“In this wicket, there is extra bounce for fast bowlers, so I was trying to hit the area as hard as possible as we were getting extra bounce, so our plan was to hit that area hard and as you can see we got wickets.”
India wasted both their DRS within a span of five deliveries. The first one was in the eighth over when Ravichandran Ashwin seemed to have trapped Najmul Hossain Shanto and skipper KL Rahul referred it to the third umpire.
In the next over, Siraj was convinced that he had got Zakir Hasan after hitting him on the pads. Once again Rahul went upstairs, only to find that the ball had pitched outside leg.
“Whenever the ball hits the pad as a bowler you feel it is out. But it is important for the bowler and keeper to have a conversation before going for review,” said Siraj.
“Since the batter was in front of me, I was convinced for the review but it didn’t happen as I thought.”
While Litton Das led Bangladesh’s fightback with a 98-ball 73, Siraj felt Nurul Hasan’s counter-attacking 29-ball 31 knock changed the momentum.
“The wicketkeeper came and started attacking and it changed the momentum and we conceded extra 30 runs but it is not something that we should be too worried about,” he said.
(With inputs from agencies)