We were ahead of the game: Mushfiqur
Mushfiqur Rahim said South Africa could have crumbled under the pressure of scoring quickly if play had been possible on the last two days of the Chittagong Test. It is a rare statement of aggression from a Bangladesh captain and it adds a bit more spice to a series not short of it.
"We thought that we could possibly win this game," Mushfiqur said. "There's no reason not to think along those lines. It is quite normal to think that way when you can take a 78-run [first-innings] lead against the No. 1 team in the world. Maybe we could have bowled better in the first hour of the second innings.
"If we could have taken one or two wickets, they would have been under pressure. Besides, everyone knows how South Africa can be when under pressure. We had that in our mind. Such chances don't come every day, we know it very well. We were very excited that if we could apply our skills properly, we could bring the result on our side."
Heavy rain washed the fourth and fifth days out and the Test ended with South Africa 61 for 0 in the second innings, still trailing by 17 runs. They had been bowled out for 248 in the first innings, their second-lowest total against Bangladesh. But South Africa captain Hashim Amla still thought his team was poised for victory.
When asked for his opinion on the matter though, Mushfiqur said Bangladesh had the advantage due to spin-friendly conditions: "It is [Hashim Amla's] opinion. But they were behind by 17 runs. They had to pick up quick runs and it goes without saying that they could have lost two-three wickets in the process which would have handed us the match.
"Our pace bowlers bowled particularly well in the first innings. Conditions would have helped spin in the second innings. [So] we were ahead, if you think in that way. This is my personal opinion."
Mushfiqur said his team wanted to show that they could replicate their one-day success in Tests as well and that this performance would stand Bangladesh in good stead moving forward.
"We only rarely get these chances. Everyone was hungry to play well. We wanted to show that if we could do it in ODIs we could do it in Tests as well. We haven't proven everything in one Test, but this was a start.
"This will help us do better in the future, give us more mental strength. If we can play like this, we can do better in Tests."