Team India bowling coach Paras Mhambrey praised substitute skipper KL Rahul’s leadership after day 4 of the first Test against Bangladesh at Chattogram on Saturday, December 17. He credited Rahul for the bowling changes and also for his decision to take the new ball.
India is firmly in control of the first Test with just one day to go. Chasing a mammoth target of 513, Bangladesh ended Day 4 on 272/6. They need another 241 runs for an improbable final-day win with just four wickets in hand.
In a press conference after the end of the game on day four, Mhambrey was asked for his assessment of Rahul’s leadership, who has come under the scanner in the past. Praising the deputy captain, he said:
“We have conversations with the captain, but in the end you also have to go with what he feels on the field. Credit must go to him for many of the changes he made. He rotated the bowlers very well. He gave fast bowlers short bursts. At some point the ball was reversed as well, so that was good to see.
“When he realized that the fast casters had longer spells, he popped in the spinners and spun them really well. The new ball he took too, we got a couple of wickets with that. He made good decisions.”
Rahul leads the Indian team in the absence of Rohit Sharma, who was ruled out of the first test due to a thumb injury. The latter is likely to return to the playing XI for the second Test in Dhaka, which begins on December 22.
“The discussion was bowling in the right areas” – Paras Mhambrey on return after first wicketless session
While India started the day in a dominant position, the Bangladeshi openers put up some good resistance in the first session as the hosts did not drop a single wicket.
On the plan after an unsuccessful opening session, Mhambrey revealed that the talk was all about being patient and bowling in the right areas. He stated:
“During the lunch break, the bowlers said during the discussion that batting was easy. The ball wasn’t doing anything like it did in the early innings. The discussion was to bowl in the proper areas, make them play, and wait for the opportunity. We were rewarded for the same in the next two sessions.”
Left-arm spinner Axar Patel was the star of India’s bowling, claiming three wickets for 50 runs. On what makes Axar a difficult bowler to hit, Mhambrey explained:
“What stands out about Axar is, first of all, the type of rhythm with which he bowls. It’s not easy for hitters to come out. Also, in terms of the angles that he pitches, the way he throws the ball, it’s very difficult for hitters to put it down or play it. In conditions where the ball spins a bit, you have to play those passes.”
Axar brought down Yasir Ali (five) and Mushfiqur Rahim (23) with deliveries that overshot the batsmen. He also stumped Nurul Hasan by three.
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