Will things improve beyond Zimbabwe?

    Will things improve beyond Zimbabwe?
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    Wicketkeeper winner Mushfiqur Rahim tries to catch a ball during training yesterday in Harare. Mushfiqur reportedly made himself available for the T20 series against Zimbabwe, retreating from his previous position by skipping the smaller form during the tour. PHOTO: COLLECTION

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    Wicketkeeper winner Mushfiqur Rahim tries to catch a ball during training yesterday in Harare. Mushfiqur reportedly made himself available for the T20 series against Zimbabwe, retreating from his previous position by skipping the smaller form during the tour. PHOTO: COLLECTION

    Zimbabwe has over the years been the ideal opposition for Bangladesh whenever the Tigers tried to gain confidence and return to winning ways following a series of defeats in various forms.

    Regardless of the strength of the opposition, a victory always gives confidence to any team and inspires them to improve, but things never went well for Bangladesh despite gaining confidence from Zimbabwe’s defeat.

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    The Tigers had previously returned to winning ways in a test form, defeating Zimbabwe after a series of six consecutive defeats, including a shock defeat by Afghanistan at home in 2019.

    But after this convincing victory and 106 victories, Bangladesh could not use its dynamics and lost the next two series of tests. The Tigers lost a 2-0 home test series for the first time to an inexperienced West Indian team earlier this year, followed by a 1-0 defeat in Sri Lanka in May.

    After these losses, Bangladesh left for Zimbabwe and recorded a complete victory of 220 crazy in the solo test, possibly boosting confidence ahead of a series of three races and three T20I races on their current tour.

    The trend in T20Is is similar to the test story. Bangladesh lost four games straight before returning to winning ways, beating Zimbabwe 2-0 in March last year. They then lost the next round 3-0 against New Zealand.

    The ODIs are the Tigers’ preferred form and Tamim Iqbal’s team managed to win the last series of three games 2-1 against an inexperienced Sri Lankan home team after being whitewashed in a series of three ODI games in New Zealand.

    The guests will take part in a warm-up game before the crucial ODI series, starting on July 16, which is part of the Super League of the ICC Men’s World Cup.

    Bangladesh will be desperate to earn the most points from this series, but will the confidence gained from these victories against Zimbabwe help Bangladesh when the opponents are tougher and stronger?

    Unfortunately, the answer always remains no. And it’s not because the Tigers have beaten a relatively weaker opponent, but also because of the lack of perspective within the Bangladeshi think tank that prevents them from working on tougher challenges ahead.

    There is no room for undermining Zimbabwe as a team or winning against them, but it is also important for Bangladesh to develop a culture of learning not only from their defeats but also from their victories.

    There are again bigger and tougher challenges for the Tigers on the horizon. The Tigers will host Australia for a five-game T20 series, followed by series against England and New Zealand.

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