Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)-After Bangladesh had taken a 2-0 lead in the ODI series against India last month, R Ashwin said that it looked as if the hosts owned the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
Ten days into the tour and with a 2-0 win in the T20 series, South Africa haven’t yet seen that side of the home team although they could expect a harder challenge in Bangladesh’s favourite format, reports ESPNcricinfo.
The visitors are also hit by the absence of their ODI captain AB de Villiers, who has been released from the squad following his unavailability for the first match due a one-match ban for a slow over-rate during the World Cup.
His absence will undoubtedly be welcomed by Bangladesh who can now focus on the rest of the South Africa players without worrying about the biggest threat.
This match will be played under the new ODI rules, in which there need not be compulsory fielders in the 15-yard circle.
In addition to the removal of the batting Powerplay and free-hits for all no-balls, five fielders are now allowed outside the 30-yard circle during the last 10 overs.
Bangladesh also have to remain within the top eight teams in the ICC ODI rankings by the end of this series.
They are currently at No. 7 with 93 points but the sudden announcement of West Indies joining Pakistan and Zimbabwe in a tri-series next month means they will have to win at least one match to book their qualification for the 2017 Champions Trophy.
In spite of the loss in the T20 series, Bangladesh will be high on confidence after their series wins against Pakistan and India in the last few months.
History, however, is on South Africa’s side. They have only lost one ODI, in the 2007 World Cup, out of 14 matches against Bangladesh. But without de Villiers, South Africa will have a point to prove.
Bangladesh: LWWWW
South Africa: LWWLW
Soumya Sarkar has failed to convert good starts in to substantial scores quite often in his short career. He did the same in the second T20 and Bangladesh would want him to kick on if he manages to start well.
Bangladesh struggled against spin in the first two T20s and Imran Tahir could take advantage of the home batsmen’s mindset.
He was the joint-highest wicket-taker in the 2014 World T20 in Bangladesh, with 12 wickets in five games at an economy-rate of 6.55.
With Mahmudullah back, Litton Das and Anamul Haque will have to wait for their chance in the top order.
However, Bangladesh will have to decide on the bowling combination and accordingly take a call between legspinner Jubair Hossain, Rubel Hossain and Arafat Sunny.
Bangladesh (possible): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Soumya Sarkar, 3 Mahmudullah, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Sabbir Rahman, 7 Nasir Hossain, 8 Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), 9 Arafat Sunny, 10 Jubair Hossain/Rubel Hossain, 11 Mustafizur Rahman
Given their performances in the T20s, Kyle Abbott and Aaron Phangiso could retain their places in the ODI side. However, one of Ryan McLaren or Wayne Parnell may come in for Phangiso.
South Africa (possible): 1 Hashim Amla (capt), 2 Quinton de Kock (wk), 3 Faf du Plessis, 4 Rilee Rossouw, 5 David Miller, 6 JP Duminy, 7 Farhaan Behardien, 8 Ryan McLaren/Wayne Parnell/Aaron Phangiso, 9 Kyle Abbott, 10 Morne Morkel, 11 Imran Tahir
There are hints from within the Bangladesh team that the Mirpur pitch is likely to play in favour of batsmen, which means it will be slow without much turn. But there has been plenty of rain in the previous 24 hours and the square has been under covers. Daytime thunderstorms followed by a clear evening are forecast.
Among the two squads, Hashim Amla has the most runs in Bangladesh-South Africa ODIs with 251 runs at an average of 62.75
Five players from each of the current squads played in the last match between Bangladesh and South Africa, in the 2011 World Cup
Shakib Al Hasan and Mashrafe Mortaza need two and four wickets respectively to reach 200 ODI wickets for Bangladesh. Currently the highest wicket-taker is Abdur Razzak with 207
“I would still say we had two bad days. In cricket not every day is the same. The whole team is hoping that we get over those bad games.” Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza
“The guys were extremely well in the T20 series so I think the rest of the team will come with some confidence as well as real experience of what had happened couple of days ago.” South Africa captain Hashim Amla