Never have the Tigers successfully managed to win a series against a side ranked in the top eight after losing the first match. And while they have beaten the Proteas once, they have never beaten them in a series.
However, the hosts will have a chance to change all those disillusioning stats and script a new chapter when they take on South Africa in the third and final ODI at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong today.
It therefore, wasn’t a surprise when ace-allrounder Shakib Al Hasan yesterday described the challenge in store as a ‘big opportunity’.
“We want to win whenever we get on the field. Sometimes it goes according to plan, sometimes it doesn’t. But because this is the series decider, it is more important.
“We haven’t lost [a series] at home for a long time and this will be an opportunity for us. I can’t tell you how big this match is, but I can surely say that this is a very big opportunity for us,” said Shakib during a pre-match press conference.
“This is big, no doubt. Whenever you go on to achieve something that you haven’t, that will always be big. We have never beaten South Africa in a series, so it will be a good achievement if we succeed,” he added.
As the statistics go on to show, it is not very common for Bangladesh to come from behind and win a series. The only Test team that they have managed to achieve that against is Zimbabwe. As a result, it puts the hosts in a slightly unusual scenario.
Shakib though brushed aside any talks related to the building of pressure because of this situation.
“It won’t be an extra pressure, nor will it motivate us. We always think about winning two matches at the start of the series and now we just have to win one more.
“Our confidence levels don’t plummet or go sky high if we lose or win a match. No player thinks that way. I am sure that if we stick to our process, then we can be successful,” explained Shakib.
On a personal note, the left-hander expressed his satisfaction over the way he bowled in the last ODI. While he didn’t take a wicket, he finished with miserly figures of 0 for 30 in ten overs.
“I think I bowled quite well after a long time in the last match. Personally, I was satisfied. I bowled the way I wanted to. Yes, if you get rewards [wickets] then you feel better, but I am not that disappointed regarding those things. I am happy as long as I can contribute to my team,” said Shakib.
“I don’t think I have changed much [bowling action]. The opposing batsmen don’t charge me as much as before. So, in the one-dayers it’s difficult to get wickets unless you have a supportive pitch,” he added.
-With The Daily Star input