Confident Bangladesh against wounded hosts


Teams from Asia have played 61 Tests in South Africa, won only nine, lost 43 times and ensured a draw on nine occasions. In fact, Sri Lanka is the only team from the Indian sub-continent to win a Test series in South Africa.

Almost four and a half years after the humiliation in Bloemfontein, the Tigers are set to play another Test in South Africa. The names of the teams maybe the same but the equation has changed quite a bit. Unlike previous tours, the talk in the Bangladesh camp is not about putting up a good fight or trying to drag out the match to the fifth day. Instead, the players, coaching staff, management and fans are buzzing with anticipation. Everyone is sensing a rare opportunity in the offing, a chance to beat South Africa in a Test match for the first time.

Wounded hosts

South Africa’s Test team captain Dean Elgar finds himself in somewhat of an awkward position before the series against Bangladesh. The opener publicly pleaded to his team’s frontline players who were roped in by different Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises for the 2022 season, to join their respective IPL teams after playing the two Tests against Bangladesh. But those players ignored his request and left for India right after the ODI series.

Pacers Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Marco Jansen, who are currently injured, and batters Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen made themselves unavailable for the Tests to play in the IPL.

The ODI series defeat against Bangladesh has already left a psychological blow on the hosts and now they will have to face a confident Bangladesh team with a weakened team.

The South Africa team still has quality batsmen and has fast bowlers who have been performing well in domestic circuits and are itching to make their mark in the international arena. But after losing the ODI series, the hosts undoubtedly would’ve preferred to have their best players no matter how much their captain claims he is “comfortable” with the options in hand.

Key players

Taskin Ahmed

Taskin Ahmed has so far been in red hot form in the South Africa tour. He claimed eight wickets in three matches which earned him his maiden player of the series award in international cricket.

The South African batters struggled to cope with Taskin’s pace and the bounce he extracted from the pitch. The 26-year-old will lead Bangladesh’s attack in the Test matches with Ebadot Hossain and Shoriful Hasan giving him support.

Duanne Olivier

In the absence of Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi, the South Africa attack will be spearheaded by Duanne Olivier. The 29-year-old right-arm pacer has bagged 56 wickets in just 13 Tests at a remarkable average of 21.76.

He is the most experienced international cricketer in South Africa’s pace attack and the hosts will heavily depend on him in the series.

Probable XIs

Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudul Hasan Joy/Shadman Islam, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mominul Haque (c), Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Das, Yasir Ali, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Ebadot Hossain.

South Africa: Sarel Erwee, Dean Elgar(c), Khaya Zondo, Keegan Petersen, Temba Bavuma, Kyle Verreynne, Wiaan Mulder, Duanne Olivier, Daryn Dupavillion, Keshav Maharaj, Lutho Sipamla.

Match Timing:

The match will take place at the Kingsmead Stadium in Durban. It will begin at 2:00pm Bangladesh Standard Time.