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Tigers out to improve Test record in SA

Published : 30 Mar 2022 10:08 PM | Updated : 31 Mar 2022 03:39 PM

Inspired Bangladesh is oozing with confidence to change their awful longer version format record in South Africa when they take on the hosts for the opening match of the two-match test series at Kingsmead in Durban on Thursday.

The match starts at 2 PM (BST). This will be the first Test between the two sides after 2017.

The two teams so far played 12 matches with South Africa winning 10. The two-match Test series in Bangladesh in 2015 ended in a draw after rain washed out both of the matches. But of the 10 defeats, Bangladesh’s eight defeats came by an innings margin.

Out of the 12 matches, Bangladesh played six test matches in South Africa and lost all of them. The five defeats came by innings margin and in the only game, in which they avoided the innings defeat, they lost by 333 runs margin. The state itself proved how vulnerable they are on South African soil.

Bangladesh’s record on South African soil in fact is worse than in New Zealand, where they had just ended the Test win drought. So that was another source of confidence that when they could breach the New Zealand fortress, they will be able to change their record in South Africa also.

In fact, maintained by the test victory against New Zealand, Bangladesh played the ODI series in South Africa and won it by 2-1. It was also the best chance for Bangladesh to snap a winless streak in test format. 

The hosts will be without their key pace attack - comprising Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Marco Jansen - as well as batters Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen as they chose the IPL over the Test series. Fast bowler Anrich Nortje missed out on selection with a longstanding back and hip issue.

But no matter what the team South Africa is fielding, Bangladesh’s confidence stemmed from their victory on New Zealand soil, where they beat a full-strength side. Even in the ODI series, Bangladesh crushed a full strength South African side to make a huge statement.

Bangladesh will miss the service of Shakib Al Hasan at least in the first Test as he returned to the country to be with his ailing family. But it should be a little matter for the Tigers who won the Test in New Zealand even without the service of Shakib and Tamim Iqbal.

However, ODI captain Tamim Iqbal is back in Test format after recovering from his injury and will play his first Test for the country since May 2021.

“I think the Test series will be more challenging,” Shakib said. “For five to seven years, we have been a good ODI unit, and we all know that in ODIs we play cricket on true wickets and whoever does well will win the game. In Test teams take advantage of their condition but as some of their main players are missing, we can be hopeful.”

Bangladesh looked like a settled unit in Test for the first time in its history. But they have to make one change to accommodate Tamim Iqbal from the squad that won a Test in New Zealand and eventually drew the two-match series.

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