DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim and all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan hailed the South Asian team’s new-found aggression, believing that beaten Australia will have far more respect for them in the second and final test at Chittagong next week.
As well as matching the skills of their opponents, Wednesday’s maiden test win over Steve Smith’s men bore witness to a meaner streak among players keen to engage in verbal volleys with the tourists at the Shere Bangla National Stadium.
Shakib led the way by giving Nathan Lyon a send off while Tamim Iqbal and others were involved in brief altercations with the Australians as Bangladesh staved off a late Pat Cummins assault to claim a thrilling 20-run victory.
“Australians are very good at it, we are learning from them,” Shakib, whose all-round brilliance with bat and ball earned him man of the match honours, said afterwards.
“After this test match, they will show a lot more respect.”
Shakib’s pre-series suggestion that Bangladesh could win both matches bemused many but also indicated the growing self-belief of a team who have registered their first test victories over England and Sri Lanka in the last year.
“These wins will help us become confident,” Mushfiqur said. “These experiences count a lot. When we face similar situations, we can handle them better.
“They (Australia) showed aggression but at the same time they also realised how aggressive Bangladesh can be, not only while playing but also in our body language.”
Mushfiqur claimed Australia’s predicament was evident when Glenn Maxwell indulged in a bit of time-wasting to avoid facing an extra over before lunch on Wednesday. The delaying tactic had little effect as he was dismissed immediately after the break.
“A team like Australia, who always try to dominate the opposition, were not willing to play an extra over before the break. That’s a big statement,” he said.
The thrilling win triggered wild celebrations in the stands, where the crowd included Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and elsewhere in the capital.
Former captain Habibul Bashar hailed the role of Shakib and opener Tamim, calling them role models for young cricketers in the country as both players celebrated their 50th test appearances with strong performances.
“These two players are a class apart because of their ambition to be compared to the best players in the world,” Bashar told Daily Star newspaper.
“Their hunger for success is unmatchable and they have developed a professional mindset which separates the current generation of cricketers from previous cricketers.”
Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by John O'Brien