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17 September, 2017 00:00 00 AM
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Mushfiq eyes ‘landmark’ South Africa series

He tells cricket critics don’t write-off Bangladesh
Sports Reporter
Mushfiq eyes ‘landmark’ South Africa series

Bangladesh Test captain Mushfiqur Rahim insisted that his team shouldn’t be written off in their upcoming South Africa tour as they are no longer a mere visitor in foreign soil.

In line with the upsurge in the limited over cricket, Bangladesh of late have made a upward spiral in the Test format and the victory against Sri Lanka in away tour is testament of the ability of what they can do.

“People might rule out our chance but I don’t agree with them. I personally believe you can’t win if you can’t believe to win. We need to instill the belief amongst ourselves that we can win against South Africa. I personally believe that this series is going to be a milestone series for us,” Mushfiqur said.

“We have been playing good cricket consistently in the last two and half years. May be we didn’t win in away tour against a team apart from Sri Lanka but our performance graph was high. We know we are now capable of throwing challenge to any team regardless of the condition.”

The Bangladesh team left for South Africa yesterday in two batches. New manager Minhajul Abedin Nannu along with senior player Mahmudullah Riyad, Taijul Islam and Liton Das left Dhaka in the morning and the rest members of the team in the evening.

South Africa will be a different entity, a place where every team from the sub-continent region struggled to cope with the condition. Let alone a victory or draw, Bangladesh never avoided even an innings defeat in South African soil in their last two tours in which they played four Test matches.

Before drawing the two-match Test series against South Africa at home soil in 2015, largely courtesy to the blessings of rain, Bangladesh avoided innings defeat in just one match out of the eight matches they played.

But this Bangladesh have been a much improved side, argued Mushfiqur Rahim, saying, “Our record wasn’t good in New Zealand also before we toured there earlier this year. But we pushed them hard this time. We might loss the two matches but we played much better than the previous time. Our individual performance there was also good.”

“We haven’t had good record in South Africa and we have got few players who played in South Africa. It’s such a place where every team struggles. May be we’ll struggle also but we are the much improved side than the previous Bangladesh team which toured South Africa last. If we can execute our plan well, we stand on a good chance to bring up much better result.”

The Bangladesh skipper believed that South Africa tour is an opportunity for them to give a message to the world about their ability.

“If we can play good cricket at least in these two matches, this will be a great message. So our focus will be to keep up the consistency. No doubt, the task in hand is tougher but not impossible. Team from sub-continent always struggles there but there are some examples that they did well at the same time.”

Although Bangladesh drew the Test series against Australia, overall the performance wasn’t up to the mark. In their own-designed pitch, the spinners rules as usually but the batting was entirely depended on Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan to fire. The latter has been granted a break from the Test series, leaving Mushfiqur and Tamim to take the onus in a condition alien to them.

Mushfiqur Rahim however made a request to put less pressure on Imrul Kayes, Sabbir Rahman and Soumya Sarkar who were completely disappointing. All three players had a tough time in the Australia Tests earlier this month with only Sabbir scoring a half-century. Imrul and Soumya had an ordinary time, getting out softly at times and showing deficiencies against pace and spin. There has been a lot of speculation about these two top-order batsmen while Sabbir's role in the second innings of the second Test was also confusing to some.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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