The chance to play against teams like India and Pakistan is something highly sought after by small and associate nations. However since Bangladesh’s noteworthy performance in the World Cup, they’ve been promoted in social rankings. They were no longer seen as the ‘nerds’ of international cricket. They were finally a team to beat and were being given a chance to prove themselves.
They started off defending their new found credibility extremely well. Having only ever beaten Pakistan twice in 16 years, they produced a clinical whitewash. They outplayed Pakistan in all three ODIs. This was an incredible feat it in itself, however Pakistan had recently been facing some issues. They were still transitioning away from Misbah Ul-Haq and Shahid Afridi.
Their next challenge was going to be a real test. Even at home it was going to be a huge challenge to beat India. The no.2 ranked ODI team in the world. A team with MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli dubbed the ‘finisher and ‘greatest chaser’ respectively.
The one Test series which ended up seeing more rain than play was still a vague indication that India were still the dominant team. India had posted 462, bowled Bangladesh out and put them back in to bat.
There were three ODIs that followed the test. It was expected to be interesting, with Bangladesh putting up a great fight, but a series win was unexpected. The result of the first ODI was fascinating. It was a comprehensive 79 run win from the hosts. Bangladesh set India a target of 307 runs. They ripped apart Mohit Sharma and forced Suresh Raina to bowl a full 10 overs. It was an impressive start. Yet they weren’t done. An even more impressive five wicket haul from debutant Mustafizur Rahman left India 228 all out.
Bangladesh could not have asked for a better start. They continued their unprecedented success in the second ODI with Mustafizur Rahman picking up a six wicket haul. Bangladesh restricted India to 200 even with captain MS Dhoni promoting himself to no.4. They then went on to chase down the total 38 overs. They had won the series. This was Bangladesh’s first even bilateral series win against India and to top it off they had earned themselves a place in the 2017 Champions Trophy.
The third and final match showed glimmers of the real Indian ODI team. In particular it was a great performance from MS Dhoni who had been out of touch for a long time. Having left the Test captaincy to Kohli appeared to give him the freedom to play his usual extravagant brand of cricket.
India went on to win the final ODI but it was nothing more than a consolation prize. Bangladesh’s 10 match streak had finally come to an end but they had once again shown themselves a formidable side and ready for the next challenge.