Series Preview: South Africa tour of Bangladesh 2015

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[some Bangladesh content from Devon Mace]

Bangladesh are on a high: After an excellent World Cup, they beat Pakistan 3-0 and India 2-1. Some South Africa fans are a little worried, because despite them improving significantly, losing to Bangladesh is still a big deal. Generally, as a cricket fan, I am really happy to see Bangladesh do so well. And as a South African fan, I am really glad this series looks like it will now be more competitive. This is the first series SA are playing since the World Cup and it would be disappointing if it turned out to be one sided. South Africa is the only side who are yet to play any cricket since the World Cup.

The two sides have played four two-Test series before this, and South Africa won all of them 2-0. Bangladesh have not defeated South Africa in any match of any of the ODI series either. But this Bangladeshi side is much different to the one that played the last time South Africa toured the country. They have come a long way, including beating England to make a World Cup quarter-final.

Players to Look Out for:

Kagiso Rabada (SA): With Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander rested from the ODI side Kagiso Rabada is very likely to make his ODI debut in this series. He is a young fast bowler with the ability to swing the ball both ways. He often bowls in the late 140s and early 150s. A test call-up might not be that immediate with Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander expected to make up the test attack. Had South Africa been playing tests as regularly as Australia or England there would be a chance to rotate the squad.

Eddie Leie (SA): Until his call up not many people had heard of Eddie Leie. He’s had to fight to get some recognition with Imran Tahir, also a leg-spinner, bowling so brilliantly in the shorter formats for South Africa. But a great Ram Slam season earned him a call up to the T20 side. He is known to have plenty of variations, including the zooter, googly and flipper. He is currently playing in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and has bowled well so far.

Stiaan van Zyl (SA): He had to wait for Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis to retire to finally get a deserved call up, even ahead of Rilee Rossouw, perhaps his closest competitor in the domestic circuit. He batted very well on his debut, scoring a fluent 100 after overcoming nerves at the start. With AB de Villiers injured, van Zyl should be a sure starter vs Bangladesh. However, the team management needs to decide where he’ll bat. Opening along with Dean Elgar will mean Reeza Hendricks misses out. A spot in the middle order means Temba Bavuma will miss out. As both Bavuma and van Zyl have performed much better than Hendricks, it would be wise to play both of them.

Simon Harmer (SA): It seems that Simon Harmer is now South Africa’s frontline spinner in tests. However, he has only played one test. This will also be his first tour of the sub-continent. He doesn’t have strong competition though, for now at least. Dane Piedt, Imran Tahir, Robin Peterson, Keshav Maharaj and Eddie Leie were all ignored and Aaron Phangiso was called up ahead of them. Harmer needs to establish himself in the team, and with an even bigger tour of India coming up later, he needs to bowl really well in these conditions.

Chris Morris (SA): Chris Morris finally got a recall to the ODI side after getting injured during the last Champions Trophy. I’ve spoken about him a lot in my articles. So, in summary, he is a hard-hitting all-rounder who can bowl at the death and could be the solution to the number seven and fifth bowler problem. Morris might not get a game though, with the ODI attack likely to consist of Abbott, Morkel, Rabada and Tahir. It might be worth trying to play him at seven so that the team has five bowlers. However, it is difficult to drop any of the batsmen. David Miller and Rilee Rossouw have been impressive recently and JP Duminy is handy with his off spin. He could also play ahead of Kyle Abbott but the fact that Abbott was next in line means Morris might not play ahead of him.

Mustafizur Rahman (Bang): Mustafizur made his debut against India in their recent ODI series and kept up the trend of debutants hammering India. He picked up figures of 5/50, 6/43 and 2/57. He is just 19 and has so far been very impressive with his consistent line and lengths and ability to swing the ball. While not yet Test-ready, he will be a real threat in the limited overs matches

Shakib Al Hasan (Bang): The world’s number one all-rounder in all three formats has started to regain his form with the bat. His slow left arm orthodox bowling will be tough to play especially in these conditions. He’s incredibly experienced, and will use all his smarts to try and stifle the South Africans.

Mahmudullah (Bang): Mahmudullah showed his class at the World Cup – scoring runs against all comers, and really shoring up a usually weak Bangladesh middle-order. He will now slot into a strong batting line-up which has just performed more than solidly against India, and will be required to show his best against the likes of Morkel and Tahir.

Soumya Sarkar (Bang): Sarkar made his first ODI ton in the third game against Pakistan; his not out 127 guided Bangladesh to a 250 chase. Against India, he was solid without setting the world on fire – 54, 34 and 40. He generally manages to produce such knocks even when he doesn’t go on, however, and adds a solidity to the top order much needed given Tamim Iqbal’s tempestuousness.

The weather will be inconsistent and almost all the matches are likely to be affected by rain, including the only tour match. The timing of this series is strange, with the monsoon season going on in the sub-continent. It would have been better to play in South Africa, where it is hardly raining.

Expected starting XIs (SA)

ODIs:

  1. Amla 2. de Kock 3. du Plessis 4. de Villiers 5. Rossouw 6. Miller 7. Duminy 8. Morkel 9. Abbott 10. Rabada 11. Tahir

Tests:

  1. Hendricks 2. Elgar 3. du Plessis 4. Amla 5. van Zyl 6. de Kock 7. Duminy 8. Harmer 9. Philander 10. Steyn 11. Morkel

T20Is:

  1. de Kock 2. Hendricks 3. du Plessis 4. de Villiers 5. Miller 6. Duminy 7. Wiese 8. Abbott 9. Morkel 10. Leie 11. Rabada

Expected starting XIs (Bang)

ODIs:

  1. Tamim 2. Sarkar 3. Mahmudullah 4. Mushfiqur 5. Shakib 6. Sabbir 7. Nasir 8. Mashrafee 9. Arafat 10. Mustafizur 11. Rubel

Tests:

  1. Tamim 2. Imrul 3. Mominul 4. Mahmudullah 5. Shakib 6. Sarkar 7. Mushfiqur 8. Shohid 9. Taijul 10. Rubel 11. Jubair

T20Is:

  1. Tamim 2. Sarkar 3. Mahmudullah 4. Mushfiqur 5. Shakib 6. Sabbir 7. Nasir 8. Mashrafee 9. Arafat 10. Mustafizur 11. Rubel
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2 thoughts on “Series Preview: South Africa tour of Bangladesh 2015

  1. You have penned a super analysis. Just like in all the articles I have read you make it simple.

    Like

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