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Tigers brace for more pace in Bloemfontein Test

  • Published at 10:52 pm October 5th, 2017
  • Last updated at 11:00 pm October 5th, 2017
Tigers brace for more pace in Bloemfontein Test
The Tigers will face a tough challenge against South Africa in the second and final Test match at Mangaung Oval Friday. The Test series-decider begins at 2pm and GTV and Maasranga TV will telecast it live. Bangladesh will encounter a tougher challenge, compared to the first Test at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom as the wicket prepared for the Bloemfontein Test is looking more greenish with the naked eye. According to the pitch curator, there will be more pace and bounce on the pitch, which will be the main challenge for the Bangladesh batsmen. Proteas captain Faf du Plessis is pretty happy with the more traditional South African surface for the second Test as he expressed frustration after the first Test regarding the batting-friendly pitch. Du Plessis demanded a bowling-friendly pitch for the second Test. Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim surprisingly decided to bowl first on a flat batting track at Senwes Park. When asked about the pitch and the toss, Du Plessis said he is satisfied with the nature of the wicket and jokingly informed that they will leave the decision of the toss to the Bangladesh skipper. “The nature of the thin grass they have here in Bloemfontein is kind of similar to Potchefstroom. But there is more grass on the wicket and I think it hasn’t been rolled as flat as it was in Potchefstroom. So there should be more pace and bounce. And about the decision of winning the toss, we’ll leave it for the Bangladesh captain (smiles),” said Du Plessis. “The colour has changed a lot, particularly now that there’s been a bit of sunshine on it. The grass is very thin so it will burn away quickly. I think it will still be a good pitch on which a lot of runs will be scored. Hopefully it will be a bit faster with a bit more bounce so we can make it difficult for their batsmen,” he added.

Also read: Du Plessis wants to put Bangladesh under pressure with pace

Bangladesh opening batsman Tamim Iqbal has been ruled out of the Bloemfontein Test with a thigh injury but the other opener Soumya Sarkar has been declared fit and ready to play. So the Tigers will field a new opening pair this time as Soumya will open the innings with left-hander Imrul Kayes. Mushfiq vowed a better performance in Bloemfontein and believes the Tigers have the ability to perform well in tough condition. “This is more of a South African wicket. It was more like our type of wicket in the previous game but we couldn’t execute well. But it doesn’t necessarily mean we can’t play well in tough condition. We lost badly in the first Test because we made silly mistakes. We have played here in 2008 but we will try to get over our mistakes and put up a good Test match,” said Mushfiq. The Proteas also have injury concerns of their own as their main pacer Morne Morkel has been ruled out.

Also read: Time doesn’t stand still for anyone, says Mushfiq

Fast bowlers Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Chris Morris were also excluded before the series due to injury. So the Proteas have to deal with an inexperienced bowling attack as only Kagiso Rabada has played a handful of Tests (21). Four Tests have been played so far at Mangaung Oval and the toss-winning captain has elected to take first guard twice while in the remaining two the skipper winning the toss decided to field first. All the four Tests have been won by the home team here. The first session of the Test will be challenging for the batsmen but as the game goes on, the pitch will be easier to bat on. The average first innings total at Mangaung Oval is 370 while the average second innings total is 340. Weather forecasts suggest less chance of rain in Bloemfontein although it rained in the last two days. And so a green pitch and a relatively inexperienced South Africa bowling attack await Bangladesh as the Tigers are desperate to make a mark in the Bloemfontein Test in order to continue their improvement in the longer version of the game.