Any notion that South Africa would simply breeze through their impending tour to Bangladesh has vaporised for good after India just lost an ODI series against the Tigers.
Bangladesh has shocked India to take a series winning 2-0 lead in the three-match series after they beat MS Dhoni’s men by six wickets in Dhaka on Sunday.
With this six-wicket win, Bangladesh also cemented their place in the 2017 Champions Trophy.
India’s failure and the manner of their defeats have resulted in criticism of Dhoni’s captaincy, but he has stood his ground defiantly.
‘I’m really enjoying my cricket,’ Dhoni told a press conference, reports ESPNCricinfo.
‘I know this question was coming. These are the questions that will keep popping up. Yes, if it is a justifiable thing that if you remove me and the Indian cricket will start doing really well, and if I am the reason for all the bad that is happening to Indian cricket, definitely I would love to step away and play as a player. Ultimately you want India to win.
‘It doesn’t matter who is the captain. I was never really in line to become a captain. It was a job or responsibility for me. I have taken that responsibility. It was given to me, I took it. If they want to take it away, I am happy to give it away.’
India lost the first ODI by 79 runs after the only Test match of the series was drawn.
Mustafizur Rahman has been a revelation for Bangladesh in this series. He made his debut in the first ODI where he took 5-50 and showed on Sunday that it wasn’t simply a fluke by claiming 6-43 to help restrict India to 200.
South Africa will have studied his performances carefully by the time the tour starts on 5 July. They will also have to be on top of their game from the start while at the same time blooding in some relatively new players.
The time for complacency has gone. Only a convincing performance on tour will help to start healing those World Cup wounds.