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Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim with coach Shane Jurgensen at a practice session in Colombo, Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 2nd Test, Colombo, March 15, 2013

Shane Jurgensen’s quiet efforts at building a hard-working environment in the Bangladesh team have been recognised, with the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) extending his tenure as a head coach till 2015. The period is long enough for Jurgensen to reach two key goals: climbing higher in rankings and establishing a culture of hard work in the side.

The confidence he needs to achieve these targets should come from his understanding of the team over the last two years. During this time, his rise has proved a few theories wrong in Bangladesh cricket. First, he has risen to the position of head coach after working as a member of the support staff, a career path never considered seriously by the BCB. Second, he has broken a myth that only big-name coaches are suitable for Bangladesh.

Finally, he also disproved an odd belief that many in the BCB held (and still do) that a coach who played the game as a bowler isn’t right for the team’s batsmen and for the team, as a whole. Given Bangladesh’s ebb and flow, however, Jurgensen’s appointment is as appropriate as Dav Whatmore’s in 2003.

When Whatmore joined the team after the 2003 World Cup, Bangladesh desperately needed a leader, someone who could guide them out of a five-year losing streak. Whatmore, with the experience of having coached Sri Lanka’s World Cup-winning side, provided that leadership for four years.

In the current scenario, as the team grows into a winning unit, Jurgsensen has become a sounding board for the senior players, who are turning into match-winners, and a strict task-master for the younger group of players who are still coming to terms with international cricket.

The lack of off-field drama has also translated into a more stable side. Jurgensen and Mushfiqur Rahim have stressed on personal discipline, although the captain was responsible for the only dramatic incident of the season and later admitted his mistake.

After Richard Pybus’ sudden exit last year, Bangladesh have completed a season of progress. They won theirfourth Test in 13 years in April, and have also drawn a Test against Sri Lanka in their backyard. They pushed West Indies in Dhaka late last year. But Jurgensen knows that perceptible improvement in the next two years is mostly possible in ODIs. The ODI series win over West Indies at home and the drawn series against Sri Lanka has encouraged him.

“As long as the team improves in Test cricket, it will flow into the limited-over formats,” Jurgensen told ESPNcricinfo. “We are a decent one-day side, so my goal is to see the team climb up the rankings. It would be nice to see them move up a spot or two in the limited-over formats.

“We have improved as a Test team, especially since our last game was a hard-fought win against Zimbabwe. The batting has been good, setting a few records in our first innings this season. The bowling has a new face now in Robiul Islam, but spin remains our strength.” Bangladesh have been world cricket’s bottom-placed scrappers for more than a decade now, but they have touched the No. 8 spot a few times in ODIs in the last two years, which explains the confidence of the side compared to even five years ago. The BCB has also appreciated the team’s worth by putting a quiet man in charge, instead of remaining star-struck and seeking out the next Whatmore.