Bangladesh’s tour of South Africa ebbed to a new low on Friday when it was left to the opposing camp to stand up for them.
"It’s hard coming to South Africa‚" Neil McKenzie‚ South Africa’s batting coach‚ said.
"A lot of sub-continents struggle with the extra bounce and pace‚ although the wickets we’ve played on haven’t been like the traditional [fast‚ bouncy surfaces] at the Wanderers or Centurion.
"You’re not going to get hit [batting in the subcontinent]. The fear factor is not as great as it is in South Africa and Australia.
"That’s the one stepping stone the Bangladeshis have to get over. It’s about getting used to these conditions and having more tours here. You need to take the younger guys out of their comfort zones."
As for his own side …
"You can only play as well as the opposition allow you to play‚ and our bowlers have really come hard at the Bangladeshis‚" McKenzie said.
They will doubtless do so again at Buffalo Park in East London‚ where the one-day series — which South Africa have already won — concludes on Sunday.
The home side have rested Hashim Amla from the squad‚ but that will come as little comfort to the Bangladeshis considering his replacement is Aiden Markram.
Markram scored 97 on his test debut against them in Potchefstroom earlier this month and followed that with a fine 143 in Bloemfontein.
South Africa won both those matches by wide margins and have cantered to victory in the first two ODIs.
Bangladesh’s chances of bucking the trend haven’t been done any good by injuries that have ruled out stalwart opening batsman Tamim Iqbal and left-arm fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman.
Much will depend on Mushfiqur Rahim‚ who scored the first century by a Bangladeshi in any format in South Africa when he made an undefeated 110 in the first ODI in Kimberley last Sunday and 60 in Paarl on Wednesday.
But the visitors will need much more than even Mushfiqur at his best to reclaim some of their lost confidence ahead of the T20s‚ which will be played in Potch on Thursday and Bloem next Sunday.