Celebrate later, Bangladesh: Australia will come back hard

Amputate their legs and they will still manage to walk. You can never turn your back on Australia, for they will find a way to get back at you if you turn complacent enough to think the job has been done.

Celebrate later, Bangladesh: Australia will come back hard
Updated: September 1, 2017 11:37 PM IST | Edited By: Kaustubh Mayekar

Shakib Al Hasan celebrates after dismissing Glenn Maxwell during the first Test     AFP Shakib Al Hasan celebrates after dismissing Glenn Maxwell during the first Test AFP

You cannot blame them if they are still celebrating out there in Dhaka and Chittagong and Sylhet and Mymensingh. It is Australia that they had beaten at Mirpur, and Australia are different from any other side Bangladesh have beaten so far.

Australia were the team to beat when Bangladesh got Test status. Australia had refused to tour Bangladesh for the Under-19 World Cup as well as a full tour in 2016. When Bangladesh had beaten Australia at Cardiff in 2005, cricket fraternity had labelled the victory as an upset .

The Mirpur Test was obviously not an upset. If one takes the Sri Lanka tour of 2011 away, Australia have not won a single series in Asia since the Bangladesh tour of 2006. It has been 11 years. On the other hand, Bangladesh have not lost a solitary series in the subcontinent out of their last five series (that too a one-off in India).

No, Australia had not gone into the Mirpur Test as favourites. If there was an advantage, it lay with Bangladesh. And yet, the occasion called for celebration, for Bangladesh had never beaten Australia.

Bangladesh had gone into the last Tests against England and Sri Lanka 0-1 down. The best they could do was to draw the series (which they did, and did brilliantly). Here, at Chittagong, Australia are the ones trying to save the series.

No, Bangladesh have never found themselves gone into the last Test of a series against a big team 1-0 up. They fight back when cornered, but they have never pushed major sides into a corner. They have been the prey fighting back, not the hunter in pursuit. This is an advantage Bangladesh never had. This is unchartered territory for them.

Australia, on the other hand, have had their share of defeats against weaker oppositions, but they have invariably bounced back and wiped them out. Australians have rarely had their backs to the wall throughout their rich history, and on the rare occasions when they have, they have ensured the comebacks have been as ruthless and hard-nosed as any.

The track will invariably take turn, for spin is the biggest card Bangladesh have up their sleeves. Shakib Al Hasan, Taijul Islam, and Mehedi Hasan Miraz (whose first name has mysteriously turned to Mehidy) hold substantial advantage over Nathan Lyon and Steven O Keefe provided Australia choose sensibly enough to include both.

While that will give Bangladesh a definite advantage, it may also come back to hurt them, for losing the toss may cancel out the advantage Bangladesh hold. O Keefe had routed India at Pune almost on his own earlier this year.

But even winning the toss may not be sufficient at Chittagong, for the Australian cricketer is a very peculiar sportsperson, unlike any other. Clip its wings and it will sprout new ones. Amputate its legs and it will still manage to walk. You can never turn your back on them, for they will find a way to get back at you if you turn complacent enough to think the job has been done.

No. If anything, that is one lesson Bangladesh need to take from Australia the art of levelling a fortress to the ground. If you have a superior army, run over the fortress. If you do not, hold siege and look for the slightest opportunity. If nothing works, deploy guerrilla attacks. Australia have done that for ages.

No, Australians do not believe in defeating their opposition. They do not stop at inflicting injuries. They will make sure they have killed the last of them. They will not be at peace till the battlefield is strewn with corpses. And they will not stop at that, either: they will run their chariots over and over, trampling everything on the ground, ensuring their enemies have no fight left in them.

It is now Bangladesh s turn to out-Australia Australia. If batsmen get starts, they cannot afford to throw them away. They need to reach those fifties and take fresh guards, and do the same on reaching bigger landmarks. If wickets fall, they need to make sure the new batsman feels miserable, uncomfortable throughout his stay at the crease.

No, the war was not won at Mirpur. It was merely a battle. The real war, the most significant one in the history of Bangladesh cricket, lies ahead. And they cannot afford to get complacent before that one is won.

Bangladesh have left the days of drawing series behind them. They have pushed Australia almost over the brink. It is time to give that one final, almighty push to send them to the point of no return. And till that does not happen, just keep pushing, harder and harder, making sure the Australians do not regain lost territory...

It is going to be tougher than Mirpur, for this is unfamiliar to Bangladesh which is all the more reason for them to keep the celebrations aside and prepare for the kill.

It is a matter of five days of good work. It is a matter of twenty wickets. It is a matter of outscoring the opposition. It is also about not being satisfied with anything less than a win.

There is a reason their mascot is a tiger.



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