Imrul Kayes
Imrul Kayes is confident and ready to face the South African pacers.IANS

An upbeat Bangladesh will take on South Africa in the first match of the two-Test series, starting in Chittagong on 21 July. Opening batsman Imrul Kayes feels that a draw against the world number one Test team would be a great achievement. 

Kayes is hopeful that his side would bring the winning momentum in the Test series as their confidence was boosted by yet another ODI series win at home against the mighty South Africans.

"I think a batting-friendly pitch would be best for us. If we can score over 400 runs and they match us, the game will go towards a draw. Against the No 1 Test team in the world, a draw would be a big achievement.

"The team is in a good rhythm. We won the last four ODI series at home. I think that if we can replicate our ODI form into the Tests, there will be something good for Bangladesh," Kayes said in an interview to Espn Cricinfo. 

Bangladesh outclassed the Proteas in the recently concluded ODI series, maintaining their win record at home in the process. They defeated South Africa by nine wickets in the third ODI to clinch the series. 

Chittagong is expected to produce yet another batting friendly wicket. But after the wear and tear of the wicket, the spinners will have to do the rest of the job, feels the Bangladeshi opening batsmn who made his Test debut against South Africa in Bloemfontein back in November 2008.

"Our spinners take more wickets in almost all our home series," Kayes said, adding, "We don't have pitches on which pace bowlers can take five-six wickets. So the spinners will once again need to pick up wickets. Shakib and Taijul will have to lead the way, bowl well and take wickets."

Kayes has been in a good form of late. He scored a brilliant 150 against Pakistan during the Khulna Test and also hit a 72 against India in Fatullah in the one-off Test match. He is confident that he will be able to handle the South African pacers.

"Opening the batting is definitely challenging. The first spell is bowled by the best bowlers and whatever help there is from the pitch is at the start of the game," he said. "If the openers can fight through this early period and score runs, it makes life easier for the rest of the batting line-up.

"Almost every bowling attack in the world has guys bowling 140-145kph regularly. But we cannot think too much about it. We are playing positive cricket and by being consistent, we can handle their pace attack. I made my debut in South Africa and I have played Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel. It was in different conditions but I hope here I won't have any problems," Kayes added. 

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