Time to step up for Mahmudullah
Mahmudullah Riyad is one of the two batsmen who will have to negotiate the most crucial phase of the Test's fifth day today.
He will have to be rock steady when he faces India's pacers and spinners in the morning session, a period during which India's bowlers have been exceptionally dangerous.
Mahmudullah is also a batsman who has been going through a lean patch lately. In the last 17 innings, he has crossed the 50-run mark just once. While he has gotten starts, he just has not been able to convert them to big scores.
When he takes the crease today, it will be important that he does well. He has to do well not just so that Bangladesh can salvage an unlikely draw during their inaugural Test in India, but he will also need to bat for himself.
There is every chance of a change taking place in Bangladesh's upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka in March. One of the aspects that the team management must be looking into is that of the role of a wicketkeeper. While Mushfiqur Rahim has been doing very well with the bat lately, his keeping has been below par even by his own standards.
Keeping has also had a toll on his fingers and the team management is concerned that that might eventually affect his batting in the long run. On another note, they also believe that if Mushfiqur concentrates solely on his batting and saves more energy by not keeping for more than 100 overs every innings, it could do him a world of good. It is a different issue that the Bangladesh skipper is not ready to leave the role yet.
If that happens, Bangladesh will be looking to get a wicketkeeper-batsman into the team and at the moment Liton Das is leading that race. He is in the squad. It will not be a surprise if Liton is selected for the Sri Lanka series.
However, who can Liton replace in the set batting order? The answer to that would be the weakest link.
And Mahmudullah, who according to batting coach Thilan Samaraweera is under a little pressure due to the lack of scores, will definitely not want to be nominated for that position. One thing is for certain, if he manages to put in a match-saving performance today, he will be nowhere near the elimination list.