South Africa vs Bangladesh: Second Test Preview

Batsman faces bowler in front of packed cordon

South Africa will look to wrap up the Test segment of their series against Bangladesh when the sides meet at the Mangaung Oval from Friday 6 October.

Following a comfortable 333-run win against the touring Bangladeshis on a slow Potchefstroom wicket, the Proteas will be hoping for a bit more pace and bounce when the teams meet again in Bloem this Friday.

Whether or not Faf du Plessis gets the pitch he wants remains to be seen. Regardless, Ottis Gibson will be expecting nothing less than a win in the City of Roses.

South Africa vs Bangladesh | Friday 6 October – Tuesday 10 October | Manguang Oval

To Win Match
South Africa 1/5 | Draw 5/1 | Bangladesh 10/1

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South Africa
Ottis Gibson will have to make do without Morne Morkel for the second Test against the Bangladeshis after the lanky quick picked up a side strain in Potchefstroom. Morkel picked up a grade-two tear of his oblique muscle – an injury which will see him sidelined for up to four to six weeks.

Dane Paterson has been called up into the squad as a replacement and is widely expected to cover with Wayne Parnell set to start after Faf du Plessis indicated that any new bowlers coming into the squad would be “back-up”. The Cobras man has been in decent touch for his franchise in the Sunfoil Series this season, picking up six wickets in two matches, with five of those coming in their last match against the Warriors in PE.

The absence of Morkel also means that Duane Olivier needs to step up to the plate. The Knights quick has battled to translate the form which saw him take 50+ first-class wickets last season into the Test arena. He was spanked about in Bangladesh’s first innings and also took a bit of a hammering in England earlier this year.

The crocked Morkel and the ongoing problems with Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander highlight a lack of depth in South African bowling. It’s something Gibson needs to address going forward. If only he could call on Kyle Abbott, who picked up the Bowler of the Year and the Players’ Player of the Year at the Hampshire’s awards earlier in the week after bagging 60 wickets in the County Championship Division One.

Batting wise the side looks good. Aiden Markram has been an excellent addition to the side alongside Dean Elgar at the top of the order. Hashim Amla – although his powers may be waning somewhat – looks solid at three while Temba Bavuma and Faf du Plessis were also back in the runs last week.  Both Bavuma and du Plessis will look to kick on in Free State and put together some big scores – Bavuma more so with AB de Villiers looking to return for the home series against India.

Nobody is really sure exactly what Mushfiqur was thinking when he elected to bowl first in the opening Test at Potchefstroom on what looked to be a batsman’s paradise. Still, it’s in the past and the tourists now have less than a week to prepare for what promises to be a more traditional South African surface.

The visitors acquitted themselves pretty well in their first innings. Getting to 320 in response could be considered a good effort seeing as their previous highest total in the Republic had been 252, achieved in East London in 2002. They’ll do well to better that score in Bloem where there promises to be plenty of pace and bounce.

There were plenty of starts in that first innings in Potch with nobody for the visitors going on to make a big score that would have kept them in the hunt for the draw. Mominul Haque (77) and Mahmudullah (66) top-scored with Litton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Tamim Iqbal and Sabbir Rahman all getting to at least 25.

Any hopes of a draw, however, were dashed as they collapsed to 90 all out in their second innings with Imrul Kayes top scoring with 32 as Rabada and Maharaj ran riot.

I simply don’t see their batsmen putting up any sort of fight in Bloem though, especially after news that Tamim Iqbal has been ruled out of the Test with a thigh injury. Much more will be needed from the seamers. Taskin Ahmed especially needs to step up to the plate. The youngster has never taken more than two wickets in an innings and in five Tests has an average of 97.42, a strike rate of 132.85 and an economy of 4.40 – hardly ideal stats for a Test bowler.

Verdict: South Africa: 1/5
South Africa's crushing win over Bangladesh in Potchefstroom on a wicket that resembled those Dhaka rather than those in Centurion. With more grass on the deck coupled with more pace and bounce, the Proteas should have little trouble cruising past their Asian opposition with a day to spare. 

Written by Jason Dewey for Hollywoodbets

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