Three months ago, Pakistan came to Bangladeshi shores confident of an easy series win. They were beaten 3-0. One month ago, India came to Bangladeshi shores confident of an easy series win. They were beaten 2-1. 10 days ago, South Africa came to Bangladeshi shores confident of an easy series win. They were also beaten 2-1.
It is clear — Bangladesh are no longer the whipping boys of cricket’s best, and skipper Mashrafe Mortaza acknowledged this after basking in the three consecutive series win after a promising World Cup in which they knocked out England. “We used to dream of beating big teams, now we are beating them,” he said.
However, the 31-year-old has been around long enough to know that a lot needs to be done to ensure this isn’t just a false dawn. “After some time we will realise that as a professional team we should all have our feet on the ground,” he said of Bangladesh’s recent success. “We should maintain discipline because there will be a lot of tough challenges coming up.
“I knew that if we have a good World Cup, we will be set up for the rest of the year. That’s what has happened. We have four Tests coming up and I will hope these series win will help us.”
South African Test captain Hashim Amla led the side in the absence of regular captain AB de Villiers and the opener felt his side were below par in the series. “We misjudged the conditions but credit to Bangladesh,” he said. “We were rusty and we haven’t played good cricket.”
Mortaza also insisted that his team does not deserve any less credit due to South Africa missing several players, especially their regular skipper. “Not having de Villiers [as an opponent] would have been good for any team, even Australia,” he said. “But they wouldn’t have needed just de Villiers to beat us.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2015.
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