Bangladesh Tour of South Africa: a Disappointment

After promising home series successes, the Bangladesh South African tour was a major disappointment for the team and fans alike.

Bangladesh Tour of South Africa: a Disappointment

Over the last 12 months, the Bangladesh Tigers have beaten both England and Australia in home Test matches. Throw into that an away T20 win against Sri Lanka and a win against New Zealand in the ICC Champions Trophy and there was an expectation that Bangladesh would arrive in South Africa with some confidence and a level of competitiveness.

Sadly, this was not the case. Bangladesh were blown away in every game they played and were a major disappointment. As one punter put it, the only thing Bangladesh won was the toss.

The Results

Test series:

First Test: South Africa won by 333 runs

Second Test: South Africa won by an innings and 254 runs

One Day Internationals:

First ODI: South Africa won by 10 wickets

Second ODI: South Africa won by 104 runs

Third ODI: South Africa won by 200 runs

T20 Internationals:

1st T20: South Africa won by 20 runs

2nd T20: South Africa won by 83 runs

The Tactics

The Bangladesh leadership group got this horribly wrong, especially in the Test series. The impression is that they arrived in South Africa with the preconceived idea that they would be presented with green tops and lively pitches. Winning the toss before the first Test and deciding to bowl first, even though the pitch was true, flat and a little dry, was a serious mistake and set the tone for the entire tour.

They departed from their tried and tested formula of playing two spinners and appeared to be intent on slugging it out with South Africa in the fast bowling stakes and bowled far too short for the conditions. The reality was that the conditions were not conducive to fast bowling. Even though South Africa fielded a largely second string fast bowling attack, they trumped the Bangladeshi attack with a far superior skill set bowling on flat tracks.
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The Test captain

Making Mushfiqur Rahim responsible for deciding what to do when he won the toss would be unfair as that would be a group decision. What Rahim has to take ownership of was the example he set his team, which was very poor.

During the first Test, Rahim posted himself to the cover boundary and was seen picking at the plasters on his fingers. Not the image a strong leader of men would want portrayed around the world. The reason the Bangladesh team put forward for this is that Rahim is a wicketkeeper and needed to be hidden away in the field. Most wicketkeepers make super out fielders and this explanation is nothing short of nonsense.

His comments during the post-match interview were as close to a resignation any captain could come to without actually resigning.

“I think it was my mistake to win the toss‚” he said. “It seems it would have been better had I lost the toss.

“I think it is my personal failure. I am not able to motivate my players or guide my bowlers.”

Credit where it is due

A lot can be said about how Bangladesh got everything wrong during this tour, but that should be balanced with how well the South Africans played and took advantage of those failings. The standout performances were mostly with the bat, while the bowlers worked well together to take the wickets they needed to. Young fast bowler Kagiso Rabada did a sterling job leading an inexperienced attack.

Batsmen Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis piled on the runs in the Tests and ODI’s. David Miller weighed in with a world record century off only 36 balls in the second T20. The video below is well worth watching.

The conclusion

The Bangladesh team arrived in South Africa with too many preconceived ideas and did not play what was in front of them. A hard lesson to learn and the results showed that, to the disappointment of the many Bangladesh fans living in South Africa that offered them very vocal support at all of their matches.

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