Bangladesh team started their ODI mission Monday at Mangaung Oval with the optional practice session, ahead of the three-match series against South Africa, starting Sunday at De Beers Diamond Oval in Kimberley.
The two-Test series is over as nothing went right for Bangladesh. The Tigers lost the first Test at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom by a massive margin of 333 runs. Meanwhile, the margin of defeat was even bigger and more humiliating in the second Test in Bloemfontein as Bangladesh surrendered within two and a half days, suffering an innings and 254-run loss.
But the Test series is over now and it’s time for the shorter formats. Bangladesh are relatively better performers in the limited-over formats, particularly ODIs, and confident performances in the last few years has created expectations that the Tigers will play better in the 50-over format, finally producing some fight against the Proteas.
It was scheduled to be the fourth day of the second Test Monday. But Bangladesh were defeated within the first three days. Players who were in the Test squad and who will also play in the ODIs went for a gym session Monday morning.
Four players who came to South Africa Monday for the ODIs - captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza and all-rounders Shakib al Hasan, Nasir Hossian and Saifuddin - took part in the practice session. From the Test squad, only youngster Mehedi Hasan Miraz took part in the optional training session.
The quintet started practice at around 1:30pm local time (5:30pm Bangladesh standard time) through warm-up session. Then all the players took part in the nets session, doing both batting and bowling.
The team will take rest Tuesday and only take part in gym session, according to a team source.
Meanwhile, team manager of the tour, Minhajul Abedin Nannu, who also happens to be the chief selector, believes Bangladesh will come back in the ODI series and exhibit better performance in the shorter formats. The Tigers will also play two T20Is against the Proteas.
“We were lucky to get batting wicket in Potchefstroom and even good track in Bloemfontein. But unfortunately we lost the opportunity. Actually we lost both the Tests due to batting failure. The way our batsmen performed in the last few series, if you compare that with this series then I will say our batsmen did not even play to 50% of their ability,” said Minhajul after team practice at Mangaung Oval.
“But anyways, now it’s time for ODIs. It’s a different format. We have to overcome our mistakes in the Test series and perform better in the upcoming ODIs. We have started our preparation for the ODI series from [Monday] as four new players, including captain Mashrafe, have arrived. We have good opportunity to perform well in the ODIs. I believe our players will stage a comeback in the shorter formats,” he added.
Bangladesh will play a practice match against Cricket South Africa Invitation XI, to be captained by JP Duminy and also including AB de Villiers, on Thursday.