Ban vs Ind, 2nd test – Shakib Al Hasan

It was such a near yet so far case for Bangladesh in Dhaka, and after the three-wicket loss to India, Shakib Al Hasan found himself squandering his side’s missed chances. Four chances were missed in the first innings in India and then, with Bangladesh three wickets away and India 65 from their target, Mominul Haque dropped R Ashwin in the short game, and that proved decisive in the end.

“It’s a bit disappointing because the other teams don’t miss the chances we miss,” Shakib said after the game. “Those made the difference. We could have eliminated them for 250 instead of 314 [in the first innings]. There was a chance in the second run [too]… But that’s part of cricket. We played 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 physical fitness.

“We need to figure out how to concentrate better for longer and avoid making mistakes. Other teams don’t give as many chances. We are running out of regulation chances. Our bowlers need to create 13-14 chances to take ten wickets. other teams have to create nine chances to take ten wickets.”

Luck came to Mominul shortly after Mehidy Hasan Miraz completed his five with the wicket of Axar Patel to leave India 74 for 7 on the fourth morning.

It was another full delivery from Mehidy. Ashwin tried to tap towards the covers but went short leg instead. On Saturday, Mominul had taken a similar, and even tougher, catch-up against Mehidy to fire Virat Kohli. This time he died.

Even then, Shakib said, Bangladesh could have created more chances and broken the Ashwin-Shreyas Iyer partnership; the two eventually brought India home with their 71-run partnership.

Shakib had hope even as India edged closer to victory. But “when Miraz got hit for that six” by Ashwin, when the target was at 16, he felt the game was over.

“To lose three wickets quickly is quite normal here,” he said. “Getting a hat trick was possible. I think Ashwin and Iyer both hit well on a pitch that wasn’t easy. Thanks to them. I think we tried every way. We were slightly below, one way or another.

“When you’ve taken seven wickets for 75 [74], you can expect to win. They needed 71 runs, we needed a wicket. It’s hard to say [what went wrong], but we tried everything. We could have played better, maybe created more chances, especially on this type of ground. [But] I’m happy with how we fought throughout the Test.”

Looking back at the past year, however, Shakib was pleased, particularly with the team’s attitude up to 2022 when they won a New Zealand Test and ODI series against South Africa (at away) and India (at home).

“I feel like overall we’ve had a great year in 2022,” Shakib said. “Our mentality, especially where we were lacking, I think we’ve improved a lot. The kind of things we talk about in the locker room, the kind of leadership that’s being created, we can have a different 2023.

“We should win all three sets of tests [all at home, against Ireland, Afghanistan and New Zealand] Next year. We should have a T20 squad ready within the next six months, one that will do very well at the 2024 T20 World Cup. We have a well-established ODI side. We’ve only lost one home streak since 2015 [against England in 2016]. If we can play as a team and get contributions from all aspects, we should do well in the World Cup.”

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s correspondent in Bangladesh. @isam84

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