Meek top-order leaves India vulnerable against Bangladesh
Since the series defeat to England at home ten years ago, India have been so dominant in subcontinental conditions that they have lost a mere three and won 40 out of the 50 Tests they have played in the region. And as they reduced Bangladesh to effectively 26 for 6 in their second innings in Dhaka, yet another straightforward series win appeared to be around the corner.
But Litton Das, along with the plucky Nurul Hasan and Taskin Ahmed, refused to be rolled over. The trio hit out against the old ball and a spread-out field to set India 145 to win. And in a remarkably timid display, not unlike the manner of their top-order choke in the T20 World Cup semi-finals, India were reduced to 37 for 4 looking to defend their way throughout the 23 overs left on the third evening.
Only Axar Patel, promoted to No 4 ahead of Virat Kohli, stood firm with an unbeaten 26 to take India to stumps in the company of nightwatchman Jaydev Unadkat, with another 100 runs required on the fourth day. In the 138 deliveries they faced, the Indians hit just four boundaries, three of them coming from Axar.
Bangladesh had undoubtedly turned the momentum of the day in their favour with their lower-order hitting. However, far from showing any sort of intent to go after the target and underlining that they were still well ahead in the game, India came out as if they had only a few minutes to bat out until stumps, and could get away with just blocking. With fielders around the bat on a pitch that has offered something for the bowlers on all three days, it wasn’t the wisest of approaches. (READ MORE)