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Bangladesh has made some huge strides in Test cricket in the last few years. Test wins against the likes of England, Sri Lanka and most recently Australia have shown the Tigers have come a long way since their debut in the longest format of the game in 2000.
However, one cannot deny the fact that Bangladesh registered their recent big wins on friendly pitches and so there is no denying they face a herculean task when they tour South Africa later this month for a two-Test series.
Bangladesh had lost all their four Tests in the African country so far and needed to play out of their skin to break the duck on the bouncy pitches which are bound to keep the visiting batsmen on their toes throughout the game. But while captain Mushfiqur Rahim admitted that his teammates are likely to struggle in the country where traditionally all the visiting teams have struggled, he sounded confident about his team’s ability to thrive in the testing conditions.
“We don’t have a very good record in South Africa,” he said. “And very few of our players have played in South Africa. It is a kind of place where everybody struggle. Maybe we also have to struggle. But we are in much better shape, an improved team than our last tour. If we can show our skill and execute our plan, definitely as a team, we have a chance to play good cricket.”
“Our record in New Zealand was also not good, but we played better cricket this time, we lost both Tests but played much better cricket than the past,” he added.
Bangladesh had lost both the games, but the whitewash took the back seat after some brilliant individual performances. Shakib Al Hasan had scored a double century in the first Test while Rahim had scored 159 in the same game.
“We had some good individual performances. So we will try not just as individuals but play well as a team. Both Tests are important for us. We are playing against high-quality teams this year. So if we can play two Tests well overseas, that will be a kind of message. It’s not going to be easy. But I don’t think it’s an impossible task. Many teams have done it in the past. I am confident our boys will play well,” he added.
Rahim further spoke about the newly-found winning culture in the team.
“We don’t play a game to lose,” the 29-year-old stated. “Some people may think we don’t have any chance against South Africa. But I don’t agree with them. Personally, I think if you don’t believe in yourself you won’t get any success.
“Firstly, we have to believe that it is possible for us to beat South Africa. We did not have this belief even three years ago. Yes, our bowling attack is inexperienced, but they have got the skill. If they can bowl according to plan, many batsmen would struggle against them. So, we have got the confidence. Hopefully, this series will be a kind of landmark for us. And we are ready to take that challenge,” concluded Rahim.