Bangladesh out to impress

2015-07-20 17:55
Mushfiqur Rahim (AFP)

Chittagong - Emboldened by its first ever ODI series victory over South Africa, Bangladesh now wants to impress in the longer version of cricket when the two-match test series starts Tuesday.

Bangladesh showed it still has a way to go before it can compete in the test format, when it played Pakistan and India after the World Cup. It lost against Pakistan and drew a weather-affected series against India.

However, Bangladesh's stunning comeback in the ODI series - winning 2-1 after a crushing loss in the first match - could see the team carry that form into the first test at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.

"(Test cricket) is a different format but the way we came back against South Africa in the ODI series is a testament of our progress," said Bangladesh test captain Mushfiqur Rahim. "Our players have been in good rhythm and so it's our best opportunity."

Bangladesh had won four successive ODI series over the past eight months following a first-ever appearance in the World Cup quarterfinals. But its test statistics are dismal.

It has played 91 tests, winning just seven — all against Zimbabwe and a second-string West Indies side in 2009.

"To achieve anything is a big challenge," Mushfiqur said. "We have done so well in the one-day cricket, the new challenge for us is to replicate that in the tests. Almost the same players play in the tests as well, so why aren't we able to put in similar performances?"

Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha urged his players to be unfazed by the South African pace attack, which will be bolstered by the presence of Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander.

"The biggest challenge will be their bowlers," Hathurusingha said. "We want to play aggressive cricket, believe in ourselves. We have to play big moments intelligently as well."

South Africa is looking to maintain its success on the road. It last lost a series away from home nine years ago, in Sri Lanka in 2006.

It has since played 14 away series, of which seven have been in the subcontinent, winning 10 and drawing the other four — in India and the UAE.

South Africa has won all eight of its tests against Bangladesh. Seven of those wins came by an innings margin while the other was by five wickets inside four days.

"The way Bangladesh have played in the ODIs, they have been an in-form team and I am sure they will be taking plenty of confidence in the tests," South Africa captain Hashim Amla said. "But test cricket is a different format ... One of the strengths of the South African team is that we don't put a lot of emphasis on what the opposition can do. We mainly focus on our own strengths."

Read more on:    bangladesh  |  cricket

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