Bangladesh are oozing with confidence to grab their first victory in South African soil as they are set to take the host team on the first ODI of the three-match series at Centurion on Friday.
The day-night match will begin from 5.00 pm as per Bangladesh Standard Time (BST), reports BSS.
The Tigers have gone winless in 19 matches across formats (six Tests, nine ODIs and four T20Is) in South Africa. Only time they could avoid a defeat in one ODI that was washed out in late 2008 in East London.
While it looked, it would be extremely tough to turn the fortune; Bangladesh drew confidence from the first ever Test-win in New Zealand. The Tigers won the Mount Maungunai Test after going winless for 33 matches in New Zealand.
“We are at such a stage in ODI cricket that we should not say anything other than winning. Not that I would say we want to play good cricket, as we have said 10 years ago today” Bangladesh ODI captain Tamim Iqbal said ahead of leaving the country.
“Of course we will go with the mindset of victory. It is also true that it is difficult. Our record there is not so good. The record is a thing that can be changed at any moment. Great example was the Test in New Zealand, a country where we have not played well in any format for a long time. But we were able to change that. We will try to change the record we have in South Africa.”
Ace allrounder Shakib Al Hasan also saw a positive vibe in the team to beat South Africa after a Test victory in New Zealand.
“Everyone is keen to change the record in South Africa. The New Zealand Test win gives us confidence,” he said.
Bangladesh are also expecting a victory in ODI series in South Africa given their track record in this format. Even though Bangladesh won just 4 and lost 17 in 22 matches (one ODI was washed out) against South Africa, they were the winner in the last ODI between the two teams. And those wins by 21-run margin came in the 2019 World Cup in England, where a full-strength South Africa team was no match for the Tigers.
South Africa then went through a transition period with several of their senior players retiring from cricket. But of late they showed their rejuvenation as a team, sweeping a three-match ODI series against India at home. They indeed were always a tougher team at home regardless of their strength but a powerful India were red-hot favourite to win the series this time. However South Africa showed they are still high on resources at home despite being an inexperienced side.
Given India’s struggle in South Africa, it is easily understood what is waiting for Bangladesh. But the Tigers are not keen to give up the hopes.
Their head coach Russell Domingo who for the first time will be up against his country as a professional coach had already said that his side is keen to do something that no Bangladesh team has done before.
“They (South Africa) are playing in their own conditions where they are a tough side to beat. They will start as favourites but that suits us coming as underdogs. It gives us a great opportunity to do something special. We want to do something that no Bangladesh team has done here before,” Domingo said.
“We are confident in our one-day side. We have played well in this format for a long period of time. Players understand their roles. We are expecting a competitive series.”
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal (Captain), Liton Das, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad, Afif Hossain, Mehidy Hassan Miraz, Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Ebadot Hossain, Nasum Ahmed, Yasir Ali Chowdhury, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Syed Khaled Ahmed.
South Africa: Temba Bavuma (captain), Keshav Maharaj (vice-capt), Quinton de Kock (wk), Zubayr Hamza, Marco Jansen, Janneman Malan, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne.