This looks like a daunting task for Bangladesh up against an in-form South Africa side. But if they cannot quite match South Africa’s form, Bangladesh have been playing some fine cricket in their own right, across all three formats. An entertaining series may well be in store as a result, but who will get off to a winning start? Read on for our full South Africa vs Bangladesh first ODI preview and prediction:
South Africa vs Bangladesh 1st ODI Preview and Prediction
South Africa were last in ODI action against India, recording a memorable 3-0 series win. That victory was driven by strong batting performances in all three games, as they chased down targets twice in Paarl before edging their visitors out in a final-over thriller in Cape Town. That followed a come-from-behind Test series win against the same opposition, a result they backed up by drawing 1-1 Test series away from home against current world champions New Zealand.
Bangladesh have played rather more recently. They also drew away from New Zealand in a two-match Test series and used that momentum to narrowly get the better of Afghanistan on home turf. They were pushed hard in the three-match ODI series between the sides, winning it 2-1. They were unable to get the better of their visitors in the T20 series, however, which they drew 1-1 despite a very comfortable victory in the first match.
South Africa will be without some of their stars in the Test series that will follow, but they will have a full complement for the ODIs. Quentin de Kock will open the batting with Janneman Malan. Malan showed his quality at times against India, but will be hoping to perform more consistently in this series. Captain Temba Bavuma, in fine form of late, will bat at number three with Aiden Markram at five and Rassie van der Dussen, currently boasting an average of 74.53 in ODIs, the next man in.
The hard-hitting David Miller will bat at six. He was not called upon much against India, but can be very destructive as a finisher. Bowling all-rounder Marco Jansen may well continue at number seven after a very solid start to his international career. Kagiso Rabada will lead the seam attack, with Lungi Ngidi supporting him. South Africa will likely play two spinners in Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi, though seam-bowling all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo is also an option.
Liton Das looked in good touch against Afghanistan, compiling a very fine century in the second match. He will have a new opening partner in Tamim Iqbal’s absence, with Mohammad Naim the likeliest player to take that spot. Shakib Al Hasan, meanwhile, has reversed his decision to take a break from international cricket and will bat at three. Mushfiqur Rahim will continue at four, whilst Yasir Ali, who had a series to forget against Afghanistan, will likely also keep his place at five.
Captain Mahmudullah will bat at six, with fellow all-rounder Afif Hossain’s and Mahedi Miraz, who may be in line for a return to the international set up, in next. Key to Bangladesh’s hopes of success will be the pace bowlers. Shoriful Islam, Taskin Ahmed and Mustafizur Rahman are the front runners for those roles. All three man have shown that they are international quality bowlers, but it is hard not to feel that Bangladesh are slightly out-gunned in this department.
Bangladesh do have a chance to win this match. But their path to victory looks very narrow. They have, after all, never won a ODI in South Africa. And they have faced worse South African teams than this one. In fact, after a lengthy period of uncertainty and a struggle just to be competitive, the Proteas are looking rather formidable once again. They were good enough to beat India, and handily, and they should have more than enough to get past Bangladesh here.
Embed from Getty Images