Saturday, September 23, 2017

Bangladesh pushed Australia on backfoot with aggressive attitude, Mushfiqur says

  • Sports Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2017-08-30 22:18:36 BdST

bdnews24
Photo: muhammad Mostafigur Rahman

Mathew Wade was trudging back to the pavilion after being dismissed. On his way back his path crossed with Tamim Iqbal who said something that agitated Wade.

The Aussie wicketkeeper-batsman took strides towards Tamim and the Bangladesh opener waved at him pointing towards the dressing room. It only made Wade bitterer.

Shakib Al Hasan and the others then intervened before the umpires calmed things down at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.

Bangladesh went on to secure their maiden Test win over Australia by 20 runs midway through the second session of the penultimate day, thanks to a match-defining allround display by Shakib.

The brief altercation is just an example of the tense chemistry between the teams all through the Mirpur Test.

The Aussies have a reputation for their infamous sledging traits. But the Tigers no longer have the timid attitude; now they are happy to respond in kind with not only bat and ball, but also verbally and with their body language.

Sabbir Rahman and David Warner engaged a verbal exchange in the afternoon of Day 3. Tamim then got into an argument with the Aussie opener on Wednesday morning when umpire Aleem Dar had to step in to turn down the heat.

But things never really cooled down. Sometimes it was palpable from the outside but on other occasions, not so much.

The hosts’ skipper Mushfiqur Rahim touched on such incidents in the post-match media conference.

“If you watched closely today you’d notice, with six minutes still to go before lunch, [Glenn] Maxwell wasted almost five of those minutes to avoid facing another over,” Mushfiqur said.

“Even the Australians who want to rule the cricket world were on the backfoot... This sends a huge message.”

Mushfiqur’s voice resonated with satisfaction when speaking about his team’s body language.

“They [Aussies] were definitely aggressive. Not only to the senior, they kept talking to our juniors as well, even our tailenders were subject to their sledging. They knew how crucial every run was on this wicket.

“But they also got an idea about how aggressive Bangladesh can be. They felt it not only with the bat and the ball, also through our body language. When they kept talking to our juniors, we talked back. They now get it that we are no longer where were before.”

Australian journalists also had questions about the on-field disputes. Shakib had answers just as a true sportsman would.

“It is actually a part of the game. The Australians are very good at it, we are learning from them. It was a really good Test. Such matches encourage people to watch Tests. It's really good for cricket,” Shakib said.

Prior to the Test, Shakib said it is possible to beat Australia 2-0. Australia skipper Steve Smith was among those bemused by Shakib's pre-series assertions.

Smith went on to remind Bangladesh of their listless record – just 9 wins out of 100 Tests. Bangladesh made that 10 wins overall with Wednesday’s triumph.

On being asked about the verbal volleys, Shakib said, "After this Test match, they will show a lot more respect."

Shakib also felt it did not matter if Australia did not respect them enough coming into the series.

"At home, we believe we can beat any side," he said. "We had that confidence and the belief came from the last two-three years. Not many have been watching us but we were quietly doing our job."