Bangladesh pacer Taskin Ahmed said they are not thinking about losing the first Test match against South Africa at Senwes Park.
Taskin informed that they are positive of taking a first-innings lead or getting close to the Proteas' first innings total of 496 runs, although the Tigers have lost three important wickets and are still 369 behind.
“We are not at all thinking about losing. We will go for a draw if we can’t win. As long as I was sitting in the dressing room, I didn’t hear anyone talking about the follow-on. We want to bat for long period and score as much as possible. We should get close to their total, if we can’t take a lead,” Taskin told the media during the post-day press conference after day two Friday.
Bangladesh had to open the innings with wicketkeeper-batsman Liton Kumar Das, who kept for 146 overs, as regular opener Tamim Iqbal was unavailable for around 49 minutes before South Africa declared.
Taskin admitted South Africa's sudden declaration surprised them.
“They declared suddenly. We weren’t really ready for him. Tamim bhai was probably treating a niggle. It happened so suddenly that he couldn’t open the batting unfortunately. It is fine now as I don’t think it affected the team or Tamim bhai,” Taskin explained.
Taskin believes Bangladesh bowlers did not bowl all that badly and checked the runs during the post-lunch session on day two.
“It was really flat and a bit slow as well. I didn’t expect that we were going to bowl in this kind of pitch in South Africa. It is really new. I am playing here for the first time. Before I came, I thought I’d get a greenish pitch but unfortunately, it didn’t happen. But we had to adjust it," he said.
"We were disappointed at not getting enough wickets. We didn’t bowl too badly. If we did, their score would have been around 600. Still, we are pretty happy; we bowled really well.
“We had different plans for each batsman, and tried to stick to those. Now we are looking ahead to a good total and bowling well in the second innings," the 22-year old added.
It's sill a mystery as to why Bangladesh elected to bowl first on a flat batting track on day one and Taskin stated that it was a team decision to take fielding, rather than only the Test captain Mushfiqur Rahim or coach Chandika Hathurusingha's call.
“The captain and coach took the team’s opinion. So this decision was the team’s, not any individual’s. We expected more bounce from the pitch because in the adjacent wicket there was some bounce and it was skiddy. We didn’t expect it to be such a slow and flat track,” Taskin concluded.