Proteas

Bangladesh boosted by lack of Proteas stars

2017-09-21 14:36
Mushfiqur Rahim (Getty)

Cape Town - When asked on Wednesday if his side would be boosted by the absence of Dale Steyn, AB de Villiers and Vernon Philander from the Proteas set-up in the upcoming Test series, Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim took a second or two to think about it. 

"Probably," he eventually admitted. 

In a series where the Tigers will be expecting a barrage of fast bowling, the continued absence of Steyn as well as that of Philander and Chris Morris will obviously be welcomed by the visitors.

Still, the 29-year-old Rahim has seen enough to know that even without those players his side will still be up against it.

"I think South Africa is still a great side because they have great bowlers and batsmen," he said.

"It's a team game and they still have a very balanced, strong side. It will be challenging still, but without Steyn and Philander it will probably give us a bit more of an edge.

"It's not going to be easy to play against South Africa in their own conditions so this is the next step. We want to do well abroad and this is a great opportunity for us."

Bangladesh are coming off the back of a very encouraging 1-1 series draw against Australia on home soil. It was indicative of the strides they have made over the last two years, especially at home. 

But, away from home, the Tigers have continued to struggle and they are determined to improve.

Rahim knows that how they deal with the pace of Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada will be key.

"You know when you are playing in South Africa that all the teams face difficulties," he said.

"The fast bowlers and how we cope with those challenges (will be key).

"As a nation we haven't played too many overseas Tests, but in the last two-and-a-half years we have been developing as a team.

"This is our next step."

The Tigers, though, are also missing a superstar in Shakib Al Hasan, who has asked for some time on the sidelines. 

"He is a special player and nobody can replace him," Rahim acknowledged.

"But the guy who comes in will have a great opportunity to show his skills."

The first Test between South Africa and Bangladesh gets underway on September 28 in Potchefstroom while the second Test will be played in Bloemfontein from October 6.

Read more on:    bangladesh  |  proteas  |  mushfiqur rahim  |  cricket
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