As Bangladesh plummeted to a crushing defeat to India in the second match of the T20I series, the batting was the only thing to blame. The bowlers were always given at least 20 runs less, and with Rajkot being such a batting haven, 153 was never defendable.
Bangladesh started the game very well as the openers scored 59 runs in the first seven overs. From that position, a team is expected to score more than 170 at the end of their stint but Bangladesh astonishingly managed to score only 153, the last 13 overs producing only 94 with six wickets lost.
Three top-order batsmen, Liton Das, Naim Sheikh and Soumya Sarkar scored 29, 36 and 30 respectively and none could convert their good starts to something big which could have held the side together and later would have let the lower order to flourish. This looked even more evident when skipper Mahmudullah tried to accelerate but was out trying too much because there was nobody there to accompany him. Among the three, Liton must be held more responsible. The right-handed batsman was stumped off Yuzvenda Chahal but was adjudged not out because Rishabh Pant had touched the ball before it went past the stumps. He again survived in the next over as Rohit Sharma dropped a sitter after Liton had skewed a Washington Sundar delivery. Even after getting two lives, Liton got out bizarrely - missing where the ball went and looking for a run, and getting run out by Rishabh Pant - and commenced the 'operation collapse'.
Well, Soumya should also be given a large chunk of the blame as he looked set and in touch, but even after being beaten by Chahal once coming forward, he tried to step down again and managed to get stumped looking foolish.
Well, the last match's hero Mushfiqur Rahim also has to be accused of irresponsible batting. He managed to survive in the last match playing the slog sweep as Krunal Pandya dropped him, but he handed Krunal redemption when he attempted the same shot to get caught on the boundary. Mushfiq's loss meant Bangladesh lost one of their key batsmen too early, and Soumya getting out in the same over looks even more ridiculous.
Later in the innings, Mahmudullah looked hapless as there was nobody to give him any sort of support so that he could take the side to a total that was a tad better. Afif Hossain and Mosaddek Hossain both looked like they did not know what they were doing at the crease, especially Mosaddek, who struggled to put bat to ball.
The Bangladeshi batsmen's struggle to play Yuzvendra Chahal was visible to the naked eye and the question of when the Bangladeshi batsmen will be able to read leg-spin still remained at large.
The bowlers were surely given a total to defend which was almost undefendable, but still, it does not take away the fact that they bowled poorly considering the conditions albeit the exception of Aminul Islam who picked up both the wickets for the visitors.
For the whole of the Indian innings, the Bangladesh bowlers bowled straight into Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan's arc and the experienced campaigners made sure to take full toll of that. Mustafizur Rahman's bowling, in particular, was faulty as he started the Indian innings with a couple of wides and never found his flow. Other bowlers also followed his lead, as they bowled here and there and were disposed of easily by the Indian batsmen.
Bangladesh had the opportunity to become the first side to win a three-match T20I series against India at India but spilled it because of a lacklustre performance with both the bat and the ball. They will still have that chance at Nagpur on November 10 but they will have to considerably improve their performance to achieve that feat because India will go into the game with their pride at stake, and India are desperate to hold the fort. Bangladesh have a big job to do in three days time and they must if they want to completely vanish the dark cloud over the country's cricket for the time being.