Virat Kohli had a smile of disbelief on his face. The Bangladesh fielders were in a who catches Taijul Islam first race after the left-arm spinner had pulled off a stunning catch at fine-leg boundary to dismiss the Indian captain. Taijul himself was busy in letting the world know about his catch with sporadic roars. In between all this, Ebadot Hossain had completed 'the salute' - a wicket-taking celebration - almost without anyone's notice.
It was nothing new though, Eden Gardens had already witnessed Ebadot's salute when he outfoxed Rohit Sharma with a sharp inswinger on Day 1 of the India vs Bangladesh Day/Night Test. Neither is Ebadot the first bowler to come up with such a signature move. West Indies' left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell actually made the salute celebration his own a couple of years ago. Cottrell's logic behind the salute after every wicket is a tribute to the armed forces which he was a part of and so is Ebadot's.
The 25-year-old Bangladesh fast bowler has been a part of the Bangladesh Air Force since 2014.
"I work in the Bangladesh Air Force. My salute is a tribute to them," Ebadot told Hindustan Times in an exclusive chat after close of play on Day 2. The salute celebration was however not a part of Ebadot's game always. The seed was sown in his head by Bangladesh all-rounder Mahmudullah Riyad during a first-class game. "I never had any special celebration before but during a first-class game, Mahmudullah Riyad told me to do a salute every time I pick up a wicket as I was a part of the Air Force. he told me that this will build my brand," said Ebadot.
Mahmudullah was not far from his assumptions as Ebadot's salute celebration was discussed more than his bowling, which was praise-worthy only in patches.
Ebadot was hired in the Air Force through the sports quota and as astonishing as it may sound, his the sport he was selected for was not cricket. It was volleyball. The eyebrow raisers don't end there. He still plays Volleyball for the Air Force and has to take special permission from them every time he is selected in the Bangladesh cricket team.
"I have been associated with the Bangladesh Air Force for about 5 and a half years now and I still continue to be very proud to perform any role they offer," said Ebadot.
The lanky pacer, who was only playing his 3rd Test match, said it was a dream to get the wicket of Virat Kohli.
"Rohit and Virat are world-class batsmen. It was a dream to get Virat's wicket and thankfully, I got that on my first test against him... There is still a long way to go, I'm not entirely satisfied with my performance, I did not start well yesterday but did a few things right today," added Ebadot, who picked up 3 for 91 in India's first innings.