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SA vs Ban 2022 ODI series


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“Ten years ago, I would have said that we want to play good cricket. Now I will say that we want to win there, and we will do what we have to do to win”

Tamim Iqbal expects the Mount Maunganui Test win a couple of months ago to inspire Bangladesh when they travel to South Africa for a series of three ODIs and two Tests this month.

Like in New Zealand before that win, Bangladesh have never won an international match against South Africa in South Africa – in fact, they have lost everything (six Tests, nine ODIs and four T20Is) but the one ODI that was washed out in late 2008 in East London. But Tamim is hoping that will change this time.

“We don’t have a great record in South Africa but records can change,” Tamim, the ODI captain, said. “A great example is our Test win in New Zealand. We turned things around there after many years. We couldn’t win in 30-32 matches in New Zealand but the Test team changed that. I am hopeful this team will force the same change [in South Africa]. Belief makes a big difference.

“We will try to do the same in South Africa. We know it will be difficult since they are a very, very good team in their own conditions. Ten years ago, I would have said that we want to play good cricket. Now I will say that we want to win there, and we will do what we have to do to win. If we get the result, very good. If we don’t, we will work harder.”

Tamim, who missed the tour of New Zealand because of an injury – and has scored 8, 12 and 11 in three ODIs against Afghanistan since coming back – said that he wanted help from the members of the ODI side who were in New Zealand, especially in terms of their mindset while on tour.

“I wasn’t with the team in New Zealand, unfortunately. I want those who were in that squad, to speak about it,” he said. “Many of them are in the ODI squad, so they can talk about their thought process, and what they were thinking at the time to turn things around.”

Since then, Bangladesh have beaten Afghanistan 2-1 in an ODI series at home [while the T20I series was split 1-1]. But their fielding, especially, has been poor, as they dropped seven catches in the five white-ball matches.

“I am really worried about our fielding,” Tamim said. “There’s no place to hide with our fielding. If we want to do well in any format, fielding has to improve. We speak a lot about it, but fielding has put us in problem in the last few years. We have to find a solution.

Rajin (Saleh) bhai did an exceptionally good job as our fielding coach against Afghanistan. He did everything possible to prepare us. We made the mistakes.”

“I am very happy that they are playing the full side. I think it is the best possible thing for us. We will play the best teams in the World Cup, so we must play against the best teams now. It will help identify our weaknesses”

Tamim Iqbal on going up against a strong South Africa side in the ODIs

“I have always loved practicing with him [Siddons]. I think he has great understanding of the game. I rate him highly,” Tamim said. “He is very honest. If I am doing something [wrong], he will tell me. You have to keep working on batting. Problems will keep cropping up, so you have to keep working. If he can make me 5% better this time, I will be happy.”

Bangladesh are going to come up against an almost-full-strength South Africa side, which is only missing Anrich Nortje and Sisanda Magala, who have fitness concerns.

“I am very happy that they are playing the full side. I think it is the best possible thing for us,” Tamim said. “We will play the best teams in the World Cup, so we must play against the best teams now. It will help identify our weaknesses. If we do well against them, it gives us a huge amount of confidence.”

Bangladesh are scheduled to leave for South Africa on March 12. The ODIs will be played on March 18, 20 and 23, and will be followed by a two-Test series.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84



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