Wednesday, June 19, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Charged up Tigers eager to challenge Proteas

1st of 2 Tests begins at 2pm, Bangladesh time

Update : 30 Mar 2022, 09:30 PM

Visitors Bangladesh will look to maintain their charge when they take on hosts South Africa in the first match of the two-Test series starting at Kingsmead in Durban Thursday.

Bangladesh are boosted with confidence and momentum having won a historic three-match ODI series 2-1 and they will like to keep the command against a weakened Proteas side, register historic victories and grab points in the World Test Championship.

South Africa in the series are missing their key players to the ongoing Indian Premier League Twenty20 after, according to reports – the players were "put in a bit of a situation".

The cricketers were made to choose between national duty or going to IPL and all the players who would have been part of the Test squad - including the full, frontline Proteas’ pace attack - opted to join franchises in the money-spinning T20 tournament.

This made the South Africa selection panel pick from the next best lot.

Bangladesh cricket is passing a sweet epoch this year.

They had started with a momentous Test win against New Zealand in New Zealand, made to the top of the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League and maintain that with victories against Afghanistan at home and in the tour of South Africa.

Bangladesh have their veteran opener Tamim Iqbal making a comeback to the format after almost 10 months.

Bangladesh ODI captain Tamim played his last Test in May 2021 against Sri Lanka in Pallekele.

Since then, Bangladesh played five Tests – against Zimbabwe, Pakistan and New Zealand - but Tamim missed out due to various injuries.

The selection panel is likely to bring in Mahmudul Hasan Joy as partner of Tamim to open the innings with Nazmul Hossain Shanto coming in at No 3 followed by captain Mominul Haque at two-drop.

Eyes will be on in-form batter Liton Das who has been magnificent in the ODIs for Bangladesh recently. 

The touring side will miss the services of ace all-rounder Shakib al Hasan who, following the ODI series against South Africa, opted to travel back home to attend to his family members suffering from various illnesses.

With Durban’s Kingsmead Stadium usually a seamer’s wicket and often a low-scoring ground, Bangladesh Test captain Mominul will expect his fast-bowling trio - Ebadat Hossain, Taskin Ahmed and Shariful Islam - to rise to the occasion and maintain their good work with the ball recently.

Bangladesh have been travelling to South Africa for around 20 years now but the occasion is only the second they will be playing at Kingsmead.

On the previous occasion, Bangladesh had played a game at the venue in the World Cup 2003 and lost to Canada by 60 runs.

Bangladesh had both its Test and ODI squad travel to South Africa at the same time. 

While the ODI team were busy with the series, the Test cricketers after serving the mandatory quarantine upon arrival had the opportunity to attend a two-week camp at Cape Town with coach Gary Kirsten along with newly appointed national batting coach Jamie Siddons.

South Africa on the other hand have to overcome the deficit of 128 Test caps missing with the leading cricketers not available for the series.

Proteas Test captain Dean Elgar will desperately hope his inexperienced side, with as many as four debutants - Ryan Rickleton, Khaya Zondo, Lizaad Williams and Daryn Dupavillon - and a severely inexperienced pace attack, can deliver and secure the reputation at stake.

Bangladesh have so far played South Africa in 12 Tests.

South Africa have won 10 of those while two matches ended in draw.

Bangladesh have always conceded heavy defeats when facing the Proteas in South Africa previously but this game and in fact the series represents Bangladesh their best chance.

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