Bangladesh will be looking to salvage some of their lost prestige as they embark on a mission in an unfamiliar zone as they take on South Africa in the first T20 of the two- match series scheduled to be held on Thursday at Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein.
The match kicks off at 10 pm (BST).
Bangladesh began their tour at this venue on a dismal condition after suffering a crushing defeat against South Africa in the first Tests and now they are returning to same place meeting them in T20 their weakest in three format with host rather in a menacing mood who would be loking to continue on with their bashing.
Tigers arrived in South Africa with high hopes of proving they had become a team that can compete away from home, if not as well as they do at home, then at least adequately. They succumbed to extra pace and the short ball, even though pitches were far more placid than they usually are.
This T20 format may present the best opportunity for Bangladesh to simply play, with no preconceived ideas of what to expect from conditions or opposition especially as South Africa’s attack has grown more depleted as the series has gone on.
Morne Morkel was injured in the first Test, Wayne Parnell ahead of the ODIs and Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir have been rested for the T20s.
Host South Africa will be using this series on a more experimental basis trying their rookie players at the highest level.
He will now get the chance to have a look at a few more. Left-arm seamer Beuran Hendrucks, spinners Aaron Phangiso and Tabraiz Shamsi and allrounder Robbie Frylinck come into the mix.
Since his Test retirement, JP Duminy has been given greater responsibility in the shorter formats. He led a CSA Invitation side against Bangladesh in a fifty-over match earlier in the tour and will now take charge of the team for the two T20s in the absence of Faf du Plessis.
After opting out of the Tests and making a small impact in the ODIs with one half-century Shakib Al Hasan will become Bangladesh’s third captain of the tour as he takes the reins for the T20s.
While Bangladesh will hope a more an just a solid performance from him to turn their fortunes around, something substantial from Shakib, be it runs, wickets or a stern team talk, won’t go amiss in a change room that is desperate for positivity.
Bangladesh (probable): 1 Imrul Kayes, 2 Soumya Sarkar, 3 Sabbir Rahman, 4 Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 5 Mushfiqur Rahim(wk), 6 Mahmudullah 7 Liton Das/Nasir Hossain, 8 Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 9 Mohammad Saifuddin, 10 Shafiul Islam, 11 Rubel Hossain.
South Africa (probable): 1 Quinton de Kock (wk), 2 Hashim Amla, 3 AB de Villiers, 4 JP Duminy (capt), 6 David Miller/Mangaliso Mosehle, 7 Andile Phehlukwayo, 8 Robbie Frylinck, 9 Dane Paterson, 10 Beuran Hendricks, 11 Aaron Phangiso/Tabraiz Shamsi.