Hosts lead two-Test series 1-0 after 333-run victory in Potchefstroom
When Bangladesh team left for South Africa, there was only one question in everyone’s mind that if they could replicate their home performance in testing conditions or not.
In the first match, it was evident that the task will not be an easy one for visitors as they crushed to a 333-run defeat in Potchefstroom.Come Friday, Mushfiqur Rahim-led unit will be hoping for an improved show as they will have their final go on the Proteas side, who looked miles ahead of their opponent.
The visitors will be once again depending on their experienced batting lineup, who put up a good show in the first innings of the Potchefstroom Test, to provide much needed runs which can help them put hosts under pressure.
In the absence of veteran opener Tamim Iqbal, there will be additional burden on the likes of Imrul Keyes, Mahmudullah and captain Mushfiqur to deliver the goods with the bat. Soumya Sarkar will replace Tamim Iqbal at the top of the order. Sarkar is a flamboyant left-handed batsman who likes to play his shots and does like to attack the bowlers.
In the bowling department, all eyes will be on left-arm sensation Mustafizur Rehman to lead the bowling attack in seamer-friendly conditions, as he is yet to blossom in an away Test like he did in the shorter format.
Mehedi Hasan Miraaz will be hoping for more assistance from the surface as the first game was placid track that saw him bowl 40-odd overs in the first innings. Taskin Ahmed also had a poor one with the ball as fast bowler did not produced the spells expected of him by Bangladesh. Subashis Roy might come in place of Taskin as Bangladesh will aim to keep South African batsman quite for long periods.
For hosts, things look rather smooth as the whole team looked in relatively at ease in the opening match.
In the batting department, the team will be depending on captain Faf du Plessis, veteran opener Hashim Amla and player of the match in the opening Test Dean Elgar to once again decimate the opposition’s bowling attack. Aiden Markram played splendidly well in his debut game and showed his caliber as opening batsman. He is surely a promising player for the future as many believe him to lead South Africa once Faf du Plessis quits the role. Temba Bavuma also chipped with crucial runs coming in at no.4.
In the bowling department, there is a certain change expected in place of injured Morne Morkel as either Wayne Parnell or Dane Paterson will come into the final eleven. Paterson will come in place of Morkel as the fast bowler has done exceptionally well in the domestic level. The debutant will aim to make the opportunity count as South Africa is missing its three frontline seamers in Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander.
In Morkel’s absence, there will be added pressure on young Kagiso Rabada to lead from the front.
The pitch has some grass on it, which means it will assist pacer, whereas the weather is expected to stay fine throughout.