South Africa’s little knowledge about Bangladesh can be a deciding factor in the upcoming home series against Tigers, said skipper Mashrafee bin Murtaza on Saturday ahead of two Twenty20 Internationals. Bangladesh never played South Africa in any format since the 206-run loss in World Cup 2011 at home when the Tigers were dismissed for 78 runs replying to 284, ending their quarter-final hopes.
Since then the Tigers have developed into a team that reached World Cup quarter-final in four years time and defeated regional powerhouses Pakistan and India to clinch back-to-back series.
Mashrafee hoped that the unfamiliarity about each other can do Bangladesh some favour as they can surprise the Proteas with their new-found courage and strength.
Asked the unfamiliarity with the South Africans, who have an army of fast bowlers at their disposal, can cause any problem for the Bangladesh team, Mashrafee pointed out the advantage of it.
‘That is equal for both teams,’ he said on Saturday. ‘They have not seen in what condition we are, but we always watch them in TV. They don’t have time to watch us,’ said Mashrafee.
‘It is true that our record against them is very poor as we have won just one ODI against them while no win in any other format. But it is a thing of past. Now we are doing well as a team. I am not saying we will do something extra ordinary, but the team is doing well,’ he said.
Mashrafee added that Bangladesh’s recent Twenty20 win over Pakistan, a former World champions, has boosted the home side’s confidence.
‘In the last Twenty20 match we won against Pakistan,’ he said referring to Bangladesh’s seven-wicket win in April.
‘They have got a good record too. From that position, we will be able to take the field with some confidence.
‘We have got just one option, which is to play them with confidence. If we fear them, better we stay at home,’ he said.
Masharfee’s counterpart Faf du Plessis said they are also careful about the surprise element of Bangladesh team.
‘Sometimes unknown is also very dangerous. The nice thing about Bangladesh team is many guys coming through and that especially sometimes in Twenty20 cricket can be dangerous,’ said Du Plessis.
‘It’s because the guys have not seen or played against. In Twenty20 cricket it’s a lot short. You don’t have two overs as a batsman to look at the bowler and try it differently.
‘You have to make decisions lot quicker. So sometimes unknown is also very dangerous,’ he said.
-With New Age input