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HomeCricket News1st ODI: Bangladesh v South Africa - Preview

1st ODI: Bangladesh v South Africa – Preview

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Last Updated on 9 years by Charbel Coorey

What a year 2015 has been for the Tigers

Pretend it’s July 2014. Bangladesh had just lost an ODI series 2-0 to a second string India, which included a 58 all out capitulation. On top of this, they had lost to Sri Lanka after having them 67/8 in February 2014, then lost to Afghanistan in the Asia Cup about a month later then lost to Hong Kong in the World T20 at home also about a month later. Fast forward a year, they face South Africa coming off the back of a 5-0 home win over Zimbabwe, a quarter final appearance at the World Cup and series wins over Pakistan and India. What a turnaround.

If thoughts about this series being Bangladesh’s biggest challenge so far in 2015 were true, this was justified looking at how the T20 series went. Bangladesh were thoroughly outplayed and captain Mashrafe Mortaza has expressed concerns over his team’s ability to play South Africa’s spinners. You would’ve thought it’d be the other way around. South Africa have come to Bangladesh fully focused after no international cricket since the World Cup and despite not being at full strength, Bangladesh face a big task in beating this side.

However, this is Bangladesh’s favourite format and they have been brilliant in recent times. Since South Africa’s heartbreaking exit at the World Cup, Bangladesh have had 5 huge ODI wins against Pakistan and India, while unearthing a great talent in Mustafizur Rahman. Bangladesh’s bowling has been super impressive and while they will really miss Taskin Ahmed, they have enough variety to test South Africa. The challenge is to go from “testing” South Africa to “beating” them. Mashrafe Mortaza is the right man to help Bangladesh attempt this.

South Africa dominated the two T20Is

For South Africa, they look in sharp touch if the T20s were anything to go by. They made Bangladesh look ordinary at times and that is not easy to do at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, a stadium which Bangladesh “owns” according to Ravi Ashwin. There is no AB de Villiers which will be of relief to Bangladesh, but there is enough talent in the side to get their preparations up and running for the major tournaments coming up in the next four years.

Key player for Bangladesh: The best part about this run of success for the Bangladesh team is that they haven’t relied on one player to win. In the past, if Shakib Al Hasan had a quiet game, Bangladesh would not win. In the recent Pakistan series (won 3-0), Shakib only faced 31 balls all series. However, a key player is Mustafizur Rahman. He burst onto the scene with some brilliant performances but how he backs up will be interesting to see. A few more seam up deliveries would be nice to see so he continues to have that unpredictability about him.

Key player for South Africa: Imran Tahir was superb in the World Cup and boasts a great ODI record (70 wickets in 38 ODIs). He’s the perfect candidate to exploit Bangladesh’s nerves against spin. Bangladesh will need to play him with authority and keep the strike rotating against him. Dot balls will increase pressure, and Tahir has excelled in this area with an economy rate of only 4.35 in his career.

My Bangladesh team: The team would depend on the pitch and how slow it is but either Rubel Hossain or Jubair Hossain could have a big role to play, depending on who the selectors pick. Mahmudullah is a welcome return.

1. Tamim Iqbal 2. Soumya Sarkar 3. Mahmudullah 4. Mushfiqur Rahim (w) 5. Shakib Al Hasan 6. Sabbir Rahman 7. Nasir Hossain 8. Mashrafe Mortaza. 9. Arafat Sunny 10. Rubel Hossain/Jubair Hossain 11. Mustafizur Rahman

Some stats:

– South Africa have only lost 1 match to Bangladesh out of 14. That came in the 2007 World Cup.
– On South Africa’s last bilateral series visit to Bangladesh, they thumped the hosts 3-0. Bangladesh have come a long way since then.
– Bangladesh will look to erase memories of their last ODI against South Africa, which was in the 2011 World Cup. They were bowled out for 78 and lost by 206 runs.
– Shakib Al Hasan needs two more wickets for 200 in ODIs and Mashrafe Mortaza needs four.

Prediction: This series promises to be exciting as Bangladesh have been in great form and South Africa have a point to prove. There are new ODI rules in place so the team who adjusts to the conditions best will have the best chance. I believe Bangladesh can definitely push South Africa all the way and even win the game, despite missing Taskin Ahmed. South Africa don’t like being placed under pressure, so it’s Bangladesh’s job to ensure they put as much pressure as possible right the way through the match. Bangladesh to cause an upset.

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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