Leading the series 1-0, host South Africa will take on Bangladesh in the second and last Test match on Friday at the Mangaung Oval. With Shakib Al Hasan still resting from Test cricket, the visiting team is also going to miss flamboyant opener Tamim Iqbal in the forthcoming match on account of a left leg pull. [নিউজটি বাংলায় পড়ুনঃ সাকিব-তামিম ছাড়াই আত্মবিশ্বাসী মুশফিক]
Admitting the fact that Bangladesh will sense the absence of the two great performers, the Tiger skipper Mushfiqur Rahim also stated the rest of the team members have the ability to showcase positive outcome for the team.
“It is a major setback to not have your two best players (Tamim and Shakib). We really needed them here. We lost the first game badly. But time doesn’t stand still for anyone. Injuries are not in our control. The batsmen have to take advantage of good starts and put together big partnerships; the bowlers have to bowl in good line and length and consistently put them under pressure,” Mushfiqur said.
The last occasion Bangladesh played a Test match without Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan was in 2013 against Sri Lanka in Galle.
“Starting every innings is tough but we expect them to give us a good start. I have a lot of confidence in them [Soumya and Imrul] to return among the runs. They can take a step forward if they can score runs in this game, particularly in the absence of Tamim,” said the wicketkeeper-batsman.
“You can say a limited batting option for us but normally both openers don’t get injured at the same time. Pace bowlers are at the most risk of getting injured in these conditions, due to workload. Unfortunately, two of our three openers got injured. I think this is an opportunity for the others in the squad. I want them to make use of this opportunity,” he explained.
“It is only natural for people to talk if you’ve done badly. I am not worried about the outcome. I think about the process. They should do the same, give their best every ball,” he said.
“Not just our bowling, our batting unit collapsed in a big way in the second innings. I haven’t seen one of such a scale in recent years. It was a warning for us.
“When you get nothing from the wicket, you have to go to the other options. If you are not getting wickets, you have to cut down the run-rate. When the ball reverses or you get the second new ball, you can go back to the attacking options.
“Our bowlers couldn’t do it in the first Test but I am hopeful that they can do it in Bloemfontein. There will be help for them in this wicket and I think they will learn from their previous mistakes. It’d be better if they can do it quickly,” the 30-year old concluded.