Coach Jamie Siddons has spoken of the need for his top four to step up in South Africa, and opener Tamim Iqbal knows it will be a difficult proposition against a formidable pace attack. Tamim will get his first taste of the task at hand in Bangladesh's Twenty20 international against South Africa at the Wanderers on Wednesday.
"This is a tough tour and I know I have to work very hard to score runs against South Africa," he told TigerCricket.com. "But I am really looking forward to the Twenty20 match. I love the format, I love the fast pace of it and it sends my pulse racing."
Tamim felt the team had gained in confidence after the home series against New Zealand. "It was a very close series and we could have won the first Test and missed out on beating New Zealand in the ODI series also after winning the first ODI. The performance gave the players a lot of self-belief. If we play up to our 100% a positive result is possible here also, not just in the Twenty20 but also in the other matches."
Tamim wasn't too perturbed about the relatively high altitude of some grounds in South Africa or the extra bounce in the pitches. "We have travelled around the world and played in different conditions and wickets so it should not be a problem," Tamim said. "We just need to adjust quickly." Bangladesh were beaten comprehensively in both Tests and ODIs during their last tour in 2002. However, they upset West Indies in the World Twenty at the Wanderers last year, and went at more than ten an over in the first half of their innings in a first-round game against South Africa.
Bangladesh hit the practice nets at the ground on Monday, training in their new blue kit, which replaces the traditional yellow and black. With the practice pitch having a sufficient covering of grass, their was considerable seam movement for the bowlers, and Bangladesh's batsmen got a first-hand experience of what to expect on the tour.
"It's a challenge but that's how practice wickets tend to be here," Grant Trafford Luden, Bangladesh's fitness coach, said. "If you can practise on these tracks it becomes a lot easier when you go out to bat in the matches because pitches at the main venues are very good for batting."