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In the India vs Bangladesh test match in February 2017, India did not enforce follow on on the 4th day of test. It would be logical to try to get Bangladesh all out on second innings and then quickly chase down a meagre total.

What can be the possible reason behind Kohli's decision?

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It would be logical to try to get Bangladesh all out on second innings and then quickly chase down a meagre total.

Logical when it works :-)

The situation captains are trying to avoid here is something like:

  • The pitch is still reasonably good for batting.
  • Tired bowlers aren't incisive at the start of the follow-on, letting some batsmen get set.
  • The side following on makes a big score, giving them a lead of 200 or so1.
  • The side which enforced the follow on now has to make 200 on a fifth day pitch. A couple of quick wickets, the jitters set in and they end up losing.

To some extent, not enforcing the follow on is the safe option - knock up a quick 150-200, declare with a total the other side is going to be too scared to even attempt to chase, and you're not going to lose.

  1. Much less likely in this scenario where India had a lead of 300, I admit.
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The only thing that comes to my mind is to give bowlers a bit of a breather. Indian bowlers had been bowling since Day 2 (so almost 2 full days) and their legs and fingers (for spinners) must have been aching and tired. Teams typically adopt this practice by not opting for follow-on and give their bowlers a breather before they come out again to bowl out the other team again!

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