Once-called Cricket minnows, the Bangladesh team have made themselves the giant-slayers as they hunt down the Proteas 2-1 in the 3-match ODI series in Bangladesh.
After beating cricket giants like Pakistan and India, Bangladesh defeated South Africa 2-1 in One-dayers.
The team has been showing sparks of brilliance on and off for quite a while. Since their inception, they have had a penchant for knocking up the occasional upset. They beat the English team in the 2011 World Cup and again in the 2015 World Cup. But they still lacked the consistency to repeat their conquests.
Bangladesh cricket seemed to be in tatters in 2014. They tried different combinations, strategies, fitness regimes but losses kept mounting.
Some radical changes were in the team as well as the coaching staff. Chandika Hathurusingha was brought in as the coach, Heath Streak became the bowling coach and Mashrafe Mortaza was appointed team captain. It worked in their favour. They finally found their groove during the 2015 World Cup in Australia of all places. They reached the quarter-finals for the first time, making it their most successful campaign ever.
The team has been going from strength to strength giving measured, clinical performances time and again – especially in the bowling department. They now have a rich pool of pacers at their disposal, all of whom are raring to perform. Mustafizur Rahman appeared on everyone’s radar when he sizzled on his debut against India in the recent bilateral series, picking up five wickets. This outing was no flash in the pan as he followed it up with a six-wicket haul in the next match. This also made him the second person in cricketing history to have claimed five-wicket hauls in his first two ODIs. Shakib Al Hasan created history in January by attaining the no 1 rank in all three formats of the game.
Bangladesh’s recent form gives irrefutable proof that they are rising – together, as a consolidated team – and it’s about time that the proverbial giants start taking them more seriously.