Bangladesh will be a test of character for South Africa

Painstakingly detailed preparation, a dynamic leader and a team infused with “No-Fear” attitude – probably the three elements responsible for Bangladesh cricket team’s most successful year in international cricket.

Tigers made the quarter-finals of ICC World Cup 2015 after defeating England in the group stage. They thrashed Pakistan 3-0 in the ODI series, won 2-1 over a full-strength India in June, 2015. In this year, Tigers have played 16 ODI matches, won 9 and lost 5.

With another six months to go before the year ends, South Africa will be next on Tigers’ list. The Spingboks are due to play two T20s, three ODIs and two Test matches.

Given the red-hot form of Bangladesh, and how they outplayed the two teams from the subcontinent, optimism is high about capturing another high-ranked side at home.

South African T20 squad left for Bangladesh on Monday and arrived on Tuesday evening, with fresh faces eager to prove their worth on the field.

The T20 squad may not feature the likes of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander, but the new-look bowling attack for the Springboks has Chris Morris, Kyle Abbot, Wayne Parnell, David Wiese, Kasigo Rabada and Beuran Hendricks to trouble the Bangladeshi batsmen.

South Africa’s Faf du Plessis (L) hits a shot past West Indies bowler Jerome Taylor during their Cricket World Cup match at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) February 27, 2015. Photo taken from Reuters

“This is exciting; it’s nice to have young guys coming in. It’s almost like the younger the guys are, the more energy they bring to the squad but then it’s also important that we have the right senior guys on the bus to make sure they make the journey for the younger players easier,” Faf du Plessis, South Africa’s T20 captain, said.

Russel Domingo was happy to see the next tier of South African bowlers get an opportunity to represent their country, and emphasized on developing the bench-strength.

“It’s a great opportunity for our next tier of bowlers to stake a claim and it’s important that we develop the next tier,” Russell Domingo, South Africa’s coach, said.

“If Dale, Morne and Vernon are consistently playing Test cricket, it doesn’t give much opportunity to the next tier of bowlers.” Domingo added.

Domingo was being realistic when he warned his players not to expect anything to go their way…the home crowd becoming the 12th man for Tigers, seasonal downpour between unbearable hot days, the nature of the pitches and the manner Tigers are performing on the field.

He believes the youngsters of this SA squad will face a great test of their character when they take on Bangladesh, the home-side with their tails up.

Bangladesh ODI captain Mashrafe Mortaza never felt this positive, with rookie fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman and other budding players firing in all cylinders. Except Taskin Ahmed sidelined with injury, all the members of the pace squad are rearing to go.

Mashrafe has created an atmosphere in the ODI side where senior players like Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim fulfill major roles. In turn, the seniors stood by the skipper to create a blend that is conducive to improved results.

With Bangladesh cricket team playing the best cricket in their history, South Africa will face an arduous uphill battle, if they are to beat Bangladesh in any format of cricket.

Source: The Daily Star