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HomeBangladeshMATCH PREVIEW: 2nd Test - South Africa v Bangladesh, Bloemfontein

MATCH PREVIEW: 2nd Test – South Africa v Bangladesh, Bloemfontein

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Last Updated on 7 years by Charbel Coorey

2nd Test – South Africa v Bangladesh, Bloemfontein

Hope for Bangladesh with South Africa bowling attack ravaged by injury

The 1st Test in Potchefstroom highlighted the gap between South Africa and Bangladesh in Test cricket, especially on South African soil.

From the moment Mushfiqur Rahim won the toss and bowled in Potchefstroom – on a flat pitch – South Africa completely dominated Bangladesh.

South Africa stormed home in the 1st Test

Potchefstroom was an opportunity for Bangladesh to show the world they can be competitive away from home. The Test couldn’t have gone worse for them. For South Africa, it was the start of their biggest home season ever, and wanted a good start. They got it, but at a cost, losing Morne Morkel for six weeks.

South Africa will be without key personnel in their bowling attack – namely Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel and Chris Morris, which is a world class attack, which will give Bangladesh hope.

However, Bangladesh will be without Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan, who both sit in Bangladesh’s top three run scorers for 2017, behind skipper Mushfiqur.

Also, the mentality that captain Faf du Plessis instills in his team will be a challenge for Bangladesh to withstand. For four days in Potchefstroom, South Africa put Bangladesh under so much pressure that the Tigers couldn’t even breathe, let alone roar. By day 5, Bangladesh had nothing left, and lost their last 7 wickets in just over 80 minutes on a flat track.

Key to a South Africa win:

Guarding against complacency and keeping the foot on the throat.

Kagiso Rabada, with 22 Tests to his name, will lead the attack

The pitch in Bloemfontein will have South Africa and Faf du Plessis in a good mood. Even without their bowling stars, South Africa will still be confident of getting in the mind of the Bangladesh batsmen, with control, pace, bounce and movement.

The key for South Africa would be to get into Bangladesh early. The Tigers are fresh off conceding 496/3 and getting bowled out for 90, so the Proteas can look to exploit Bangladesh with both bat and ball.

South Africa’s top order are all in form, and will be confident of ripping into an inexperienced Bangladesh attack, and giving their bowlers plenty of runs to bowl at. Aiden Markram was impressive on his Test debut, without being tested too much, alongside Dean Elgar, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis and Temba Bavuma, who were all in the runs.

On the bowling front, Kagiso Rabada has always stepped up when South Africa are down on bowling troops. He was superb in the 1st Test. Duanne Olivier was poor but he is in an environment that ensures the best can be brought out of him. Dane Peterson or Wayne Parnell need to offer good support as the third seamer. South Africa will also be sure to utilise the brilliant Keshav Maharaj.

Key to a Bangladesh win:

Stay in the game as long as possible.

Bangladesh’s confidence might be shot, but they can’t show it. If they do, South Africa will be ready to pounce. Bangladesh need to forget about Potchefstroom, fast. A lot will depend on how defensive Mushfiqur Rahim decides to be.

Going by recent history, there is every chance he will be defensive.

In saying this, Bangladesh must win day one. The 1st Test was all but gone after day one, and the Tigers need to ensure that doesn’t happen again. They need to give themselves a chance of competing throughout the Test, instead of always chasing the game.

Mushfiqur & Mominul – keys for Bangladesh in the 2nd Test

Another key is for Bangladesh to display more patience – bowl more maidens + attack more in the field, and convert starts to big scores with the bat. In the first Test, Bangladesh bowled only 21 maidens in  202 overs across both innings. With the bat, 5 of the top 6 made scores of 25 or more (1st innings). If one or two convert those starts to 100+ scores, Bangladesh would have matched South Africa’s 496. The players most likely to do this in the 2nd Test are Mominul and Mushfiqur, who both have sound techniques.

Also, Bangladesh got their selections wrong in the 1st Test. Subashis Roy should be included in the team, and be encouraged to hit the pitch hard and showcase his skills. If Bangladesh pick Rubel Hossain however, they’d be making a mistake. Shafiul might keep his place, simply because there is no better option. Mehedi will appreciate the extra bounce that the Bloemfontein pitch should provide.

Some stats you might not have known:

Bangladesh will miss these two

– The last time Bangladesh were without Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal in a Test, Bangladesh amassed 638 v Sri Lanka in Galle 2013. Mushfiqur was Bangladesh’s first double centurion.

– In 2017, Tamim and Shakib have scored 28.5% of Bangladesh’s Test runs.

– Bangladesh have lost 5 out of 5 in South Africa, with no batsman ever scoring a century. Their 333 run defeat in the 1st Test was the first time Bangladesh avoided an innings defeat on South African soil.

Keshav Maharaj has been a revelation

– Keshav Maharaj picked up his 50th Test wicket in his 12th Test, the second quickest South African spinner to the landmark, and the quickest since readmission. This is a superb effort considering he is yet to play a Test in Asia – he has played Tests in SA, Australia, England and New Zealand.

– Dean Elgar is closing in on 1,000 Test runs for 2017 (16 more needed). Hashim Amla was the last South African to achieve this feat, in 2012.

– Rubel Hossain, in 24 Tests, averages 77.93 with an economy rate of 119.8

Prediction:

Without Tamim and Shakib, Bangladesh might find things a bit too difficult, even though hey’ll have some hope considering this South African attack is ravaged by injury.

However, South Africa know these conditions, and have a captain who encourages attacking cricket. Bangladesh don’t, and might struggle batting on a pitch which looks like it will have pace and movement. South Africa to win, but will be closer than the 1st Test.

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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