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Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh begin Africa adventure Thursday with warm-up

Update : 20 Sep 2017, 08:27 PM
Bangladesh will begin their tour of South Africa Thursday when they take on a Cricket South Africa Invitation XI in a three-day match in Benoni. The Tigers travelled to South Africa for the first time in nine years for a bilateral tour, backed by the confidence of winning their maiden Test match against Australia last month at home. The Tigers have been indomitable at home, testing all the sides which have toured Bangladesh in the last three years. But one can only term their improvement consistent if they can do the same away from home. In the last one year, Bangladesh travelled to New Zealand and Sri Lanka where they marked their improvement across all formats of cricket.In New Zealand, the Tigers suffered defeats in all of the eight international matches but there were glimpses of improvement. And later in Sri Lanka, the Tigers continued their fine performance clinching a win in the second and last Test of the series. The victory against the island nation also happened to be Bangladesh’s 100th Test. The test in South Africa for Bangladesh however, will be the ultimate. Almost all the teams in the world are known to have struggled in South African conditions.With the conditions favouring mostly the pacers, Bangladesh will have to rely less on their spinners and let the pacers take up the bulk of the responsibility. The three-day game starting today will allow the Bangladesh think-tank to have their priority set but minus the presence of vital member of the pace attack, Rubel Hossain. The right-arm pacer could not leave Dhaka even Wednesday evening due to “no clearance” on boarding a flight to South Africa. Bangladesh Test captain Mushfiqur Rahim said they are aware that the job will not be easy against the Proteas, despite having done well at home in the past few years. But the tour is a good opportunity for Bangladesh to test themselves and better their statistics in the away matches. “We have been performing well in all formats at home. We are a confident side at home now. We defeated Australia a few weeks back. We want to perform away now, this is our challenge now,” said Mushfiq ahead of the three-day warm-up.“We have many young cricketers in this tour. It will be a good experience for them playing in these conditions. They will have to apply themselves. I believe an exciting series is waiting for us. We have been practising here for a few days now. Hope we will be able to identify our mistakes through the warm-up game and go into the Test series with confidence,” the wicketkeeper-batsman explained. South Africa have just appointed a new coach in the shape of Ottis Gibson from the West Indies. The Proteas in their last Test series, in England, had lost by 3-1. The facts however, are likely to have little advantage for Bangladesh, believes Mushfiq. “We are playing them at their backyard. They are totally comfortable with the wicket and condition. They might have lost in England but one cannot rule out the fact that they are a dangerous side. They might have a new coach but he has been part of South Africa cricket for a long time now. I believe the series will be great and interesting. We want to play great cricket against South Africa,” said Mushfiq.
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