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Proteas, Tigers look to set the tone - Bangladesh-South Africa 1st T20I preview

Soumya Sarkar hits out
Can Soumya Sarkar and his team-mates continue Bangladesh's fine run of form as they take on South Africa
©REUTERS / Action Images

Bangladesh vs South Africa, 1st T20

Shere Bangla Stadium, Mirpur

Sunday, July 5, 1.00pm local (0700 GMT)

The first Twenty20 International between confident hosts Bangladesh and the well established South Africans may well highlight what can be expected from this tour.

Both teams are well set to take each other on at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur; recently, Bangladesh have written some historic chapters of their cricketing history at this very venue.  

South Africa is the one team who can be considered a little weak on subcontinental wickets and there is a fair reason for that as they haven’t toured Bangladesh for a bilateral series for seven years and last played here in the 2014 T20 World Cup.

Bangladesh will be confident going into this game as they are coming into it from back-to-back One-Day International series wins against Pakistan and India. They also defeated Pakistan in the only T20 game of the tournament.

Bangladesh will retain most of their players who played in the ODI series against India. Left-arm spinner Sohag Gazi has been included in the T20 squad after being cleared to bowl and will be seen with a new bowling action. He may replace Rubel Hossain from that squad but barring that, the whole team is expected to be same.

Bangladesh have won only 12 T20 Internationals out of the 42 they have played.

South Africa have played five T20s in Bangladesh and won three.

For South Africa, their batting seems to be set up well enough for the subcontinental pitches. Skipper Faf du Plessis has already said that slow pitches will not be a problem for them as most of their batsmen have been playing in the IPL for some time now.

The major issue with the visitors is their second string bowling line-up. They are without Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, but the IPL experience of David Wiese and Chris Morris may come in handy for them as they would have learnt how to bowl in these conditions.

With that in mind, Chris Morris may be preferred to Wayne Parnell. Kagiso Rabada was impressive in the practice game in Fatullah so he may get a game too.

Players to watch

Mustafizur Rahman: After taking 13 wickets in his first three ODIs, Mustafizur will be on the radar of both camps. Bangladesh will be expecting the same performance from him. One thing that is in his favour is that South Africa have never faced him.

Accordingly, the visitors will have to keep an eye on the slow off-cutter he bowls with the older ball which extracts extra bounce from the pitch. It will be interesting to see how effective he can be in the shorter format when the ball won't be as old.

AB de Villiers: He is the player to watch out for in each game he plays. The last six months have been amazing for him, where he scored the fastest ODI century off just 31 balls and the fastest 150 as well in the World Cup. South Africa will be expecting same performance from him as he is the most experienced player in their squad.

Recent Performances

Bangladesh: WLLLL
South Africa: WLLLL

Probable Teams

Bangladesh: 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Soumya Sarkar, 3 Litton Das, 4 Shakib Al Hasan, 5 Mushfiqur Rahim (wicket-keeper), 6 Sabbir Rahman, 7 Nasir Hossain, 8 Sohag Gazi, 9 Mashrafe Mortaza (captain), 10 Mustafizur Rahman, 11 Arafat Sunny

South Africa: 1 Quinton de Kock (wicket-keeper), 2 Rilee Rossouw, 3 AB de Villiers, 4 Faf du Plessis (captain), 5 David Miller, 6 JP Duminy, 7 David Wiese, 8 Chris Morris, 9 Kyle Abbott, 10 Kagiso Rabada, 11 Aaron Phangiso

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