After losing every match of the Test and ODI series’ by significant margins, Bangladesh attempt to reclaim pride in the upcoming T20s. The visitors have consistently put up performances that show a clear lack of conviction or confidence in their abilities. After how the tour has proceeded, a victory seems like an insurmountable challenge.
South Africa have lost Faf du Plessis to a lower back injury, ruling him out for up to six weeks. As a result, their normally exceptional batting lineup this series now appears slightly brittle bar three batsmen. Regardless, they have outperformed Bangladesh comfortably in all departments so far, and look like they will continue to do so.
Shakib Al Hasan (c), Mominul Haque, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Mushfiqur Rahim, Sabbir Rahman, Mahmudullah, Liton Das, Nasir Hossain, Mehidy Hasan, Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Mohammad Saifuddin, Shafiul Islam
Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, Jean-Paul Duminy (c), Beuran Hendricks, David Miller, Mangaliso Mosehle, Dane Paterson, Aaron Phangiso, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Robert Frylinck, Dwaine Pretorius
Where the Teams Stand
Just when Bangladesh think things cannot possibly get worse, they do. Cricbuzz reported that three of their players will be investigated for a casino visit once they return home from the tour. However, the article gives the impression that there was no wrongdoing from the players, a veritable false alarm. Still, this cannot be pleasant for the triplet who still have two games to go.
The one positive Bangladesh took away from the ODI series was that Shakib Al Hasan, the captain for the T20s, registered a respectable score(63) in the last match. Mushfiqur Rahim and he are the only two batsmen one can expect anything from. The former has scored close to 200 runs in three games, a phenomenal record by any standard.
Imrul Kayes scored 68 in the second ODI, proving that he too might be dangerous for the home side too. However, all these five innings’ have come at a substantially sluggish rate, and it remains to be seen if they can adapt to the shortest format.
Of the bowlers, Rubel Hossain took five wickets in the ODI series, a respectable tally considering Bangladesh as a whole took only 12 wickets in three games. Mortaza, the captain for the ODIs, is not part of the T20 squad, but given how abject the bowling has been, it will hardly make a difference. Bangladesh are relying heavily on Al Hasan with both bat and ball to get them through to a respectable loss if not a historic victory.
The home side have batted exceptionally in all their innings’ so far, from chasing over 280 without losing a wicket, to De Villiers’ 176, and the 369 in the third ODI, to all the other centuries scored in the Test series by their batsmen. However, with Du Plessis injured, South Africa only have Amla, De Kock, and De Villiers to rely on. All three are world class players, De Kock maybe fractionally less so, but if Bangladesh get some early breakthroughs, the Proteas have Behardien, Miller, Duminy, and Phehlukwayo as cover. Neither of them have batted much in the series so far, and their stability as the middle order is yet to be tested.
Phangiso, Patterson, Pretorius, Phehlukwayo, and Shamsi form a potent bowling attack, albeit slightly inexperienced. Hendricks is in contention for a place in the team too. Given how the Proteas have dominated the Bangladeshis, offering the youngsters a chance is a smart move by the selectors. This is a golden opportunity for them to impress in the face of injuries to the regulars. Despite the depleted team, South Africa still appear to be miles ahead of their counterparts.
South Africa win.
Will Bangladesh regain any pride, or will South Africa continue their domination? Let us know in the comments below.
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