Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)-South Africa have not lost an away Test series since 2006, and they have always won in Bangladesh.
The home side, however, will hope to build on the advantage they wrested during the Chittagong draw to end the recent string of successful results at home with another unprecedented outcome, reports ESPNcricinfo.
The history between these two sides has been overwhelmingly one-sided in South Africa’s favour, but the Chittagong Test – though marred by rain – was different.
Having picked four bowlers instead of the usual three, Mushfiqur Rahim’s side dismissed South Africa for only the second time in their bilateral contests.
It was the first drawn Test after eight massive defeats for Bangladesh.
Mohammad Shahid, Jubair Hossain and Mustafizur Rahman bowled impressively before Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudullah, Liton Das and Shakib Al Hasan batted well enough to take a first-innings lead.
Rain washed out the last two days of play but Bangladesh had done just enough to claim dominance.
That there were a number of performers apart from the usual ones was an encouragement for Bangladesh.
For example, Shahid’s string of 50 dot balls had a huge impact on slowing South Africa down after they cruised the first session of the Test.
Liton too impressed by batting solidly on the third day.
South Africa’s concerns will be their batsmen not staying long enough and also Quinton de Kock’s form.
The SG ball softening up quicker has worried Morne Morkel but their group is perhaps the best bowling attack in the world and is expected to bounce back.
The weather is also a problem.
Plenty of rain is forecast, but unlike in Chittagong, entire days are unlikely to be lost in Mirpur.
There will be plenty of interruptions, though, which will be frustrating for the players.
South Africa DWDWW
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Tamim Iqbal batted for nearly four hours to make 57 off 129 balls and then got out to part-time spinner Dean Elgar.
His innings was of immense value to Bangladesh and he said he would like to bat longer next time.
Dale Steyn was made to wait for wickets in the first Test but now he is one away from 400.
It will be a momentous occasion for the best fast bowler of his generation.
Soumya Sarkar’s exclusion from the first Test was a surprise but after Bangladesh’s impressive performance in Chittagong, it will be hard to include him in Mirpur.
Nasir Hossain and Rubel Hossain could also find themselves on the bench if there are no last-minute injuries.
BANGLADESH (POSSIBLE): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Imrul Kayes, 3 Mominul Haque, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt), 5 Shakib Al Hasan , 6 Mahmudullah, 7 Litton Das (wk), 8 Taijul Islam, 9 Jubair Hossain, 10 Mohammad Shahid, 11 Mustafizur Rahman
Of the three South Africa batsmen to play all six games on tour, Quinton de Kock averages the lowest, but South Africa captain Hashim Amla indicated changes were unlikely.
SOUTH AFRICA (POSSIBLE): 1 Stiaan van Zyl, 2 Dean Elgar, 3 Faf du Plessis, 4 Hashim Amla (capt), 5 JP Duminy, 6 Temba Bavuma, 7 Quinton de Kock (wk), 8 Vernon Philander, 9 Simon Harmer, 10 Dale Steyn, 11 Morne Morkel
PITCH AND CONDITIONS
The Mirpur pitch will offer more bounce and a bit more pace than the one in Chittagong. The fact that it has been mostly under covers in the week leading up to the second Test will also play a role in how it behaves. The forecast is for more of the same: rain and more rain.
STATS AND TRIVIA
Steyn is one wicket away from becoming the second South African – and the 13th overall – to take 400 Test wickets.
Shakib Al Hasan is three wickets away from becoming the 17th player to take 150 wickets and score more than 2500 runs in Tests.