Bangladesh cricket team faces an uphill battle to comeback in the 3-match ODI series against South Africa after the visitors cruised to victory in the opening game on July 10.
Having been comprehensively outplayed by South Africa in the two T20Is and the first ODI, Bangladesh must fight-back like cornered Tigers if they want to keep the series alive and give their supporters something to cheer about.
It is high time the Bangladeshi batsmen show some character facing adversity and give the bowlers something to defend on the docile pitch at Mirpur stadium.
In all the three games against South Africa, several Bangladeshi batsmen got starts but failed to convert it to a big knock, with Shakib Al Hasan’s 48 the highest score so far.
South African bowlers haven’t found it too difficult to dismiss Bangladeshi batsmen as Tamim and co lack confidence and the will to weather the storm.
Bangladeshi batsmen are getting out in the 20s and 30s far too often for their liking by their terrible shot-selection during crucial junctures of the game.
There were only two 20-plus scores in the first and second T20Is. Needless to say, Bangladesh were booked for 96 on July 05, and 138 on July 07 at Mirpur. In the first ODI, Soumya Sarkar made 27, Mushfiqur Rahim 24, Nasir Hossain 31 besides Shakib’s 48.
Bangladesh desperately need the batters to put up a challenging total on the board in order to comeback in the ODI series against the rampant Proteas.
Even though Bangladeshi bowlers haven’t performed poorly, they found wickets extremely hard to come by without the scoreboard pressure on the Proteas batters.
Ten South African wickets have fallen in the three matches so far, eight of them going to the Bangladeshi spinners.
Since the South African batsmen were not compelled to take risks chasing smallish totals, Bangladesh bowlers found breakthroughs hard to come by on the slow pitch at Mirpur.
Defending below-par totals, Bangladeshi spinners lacked the confidence to flight the ball and extract appreciable turn from the pitch to trouble the opposing batsmen.
Shakib Al Hasan, Nasir Hossain, Jubair Hossain and Mahmudullah were guilty of bowling fast and fast in order to contain the Proteas batters.
With decisive footwork from the likes of Faf du Plessis and Rilee Rossouw, Bangladesh’s spinners were easily milked for runs with the field spread out.
If the batsmen fail to put up a good total in the 2nd ODI today, Bangladesh bowlers will find it nearly impossible to stave off defeat at the hands of the visitors.
The onus is on the batsmen. If they click, the going will get tough for South Africa.
As the series is on the line, Bangladeshi supporters hope their team will fight like cornered Tigers.
Go Tigers Go!