Bangladesh will look to put up a better performance when they take on South Africa in the second Test at Bloemfontein on Friday. South Africa thrashed Bangladesh by 333 runs in the first Test and would look to do an encore when they take on the Tigers in the second Test. Bangladesh, who recently tasted their first-ever Test win over England and Australia, would look to level the series and carry a memorable win back home. But it is easier said than done as Bangladesh have few challenges in their hands. Cricwizz takes a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the two teams ahead of South Africa vs Bangladesh second Test on Friday.
South Africa strengths:
Strong batting line-up: South Africa openers Dean Elgar and AK Markram made Bangladesh pay dearly with 196-run partnership in the first innings in the first Test. Elgar made a brilliant 199. Hashim Amla rubbed it in with a knock of 137. The batting is in form with the likes of skipper Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock to follow. They will show no mercy when they take on Bangladesh in the second Test.
Home conditions: South Africa are unbeatable at home. They have brilliant records in Tests in home conditions. They know how the pitch and weather will behave and can strategise accordingly. They will also get suitable combinations depending on the conditions. Bangladesh will face a herculean task to beat South Africa in their own den.
Bowling could crumble as Morne Morkel is out of the series: Although South Africa bowlers bowled out Bangladesh for just 90 in the fourth innings in the first Test, their bowling lack the big names such as Morne Morkel who has been for six weeks due to injury in the second Test. K Rabada has little experience to spearhead the bowling attack. It’s a young bowling line-up with KA Maharaj, AL Phelukwayo, D Olivier. Bangladesh will fancy their chances against South Africa bowling line-up.
Batting is key: Bangaladesh have few world-class batsmen in Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim and Sabbir Rahman. They showed their brilliance in the first Test, but failed to notch up a big score that could have given them chances to save the Test. One of the top batsmen will have to bat big to give a tough fight to South Africa bowling attack.
Ineffective bowling: Although Bangladesh boast of few big names in Mustafizur Rahman, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taskin Ahmed, they failed to stop South Africa from piling up a big score. Miraz was extremely disappointing, failing to take a wicket, while giving 247 runs. Rahman just managed two wickets. Bangladesh bowlers would have to lift their game to stop the South African batsmen.
No Shakib-Al-Hasan: Bangladesh are missing their star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan who provides a good balance to the team. He has the knack of picking wickets while he has the patience and skills to make tall scores. Shakib would have definitely made a difference in the tour.
Prediction: South Africa have an enviable record at home. They are tough to beat in home conditions. However, the recent Tests results have shown underdogs upsetting the apple carts of stronger teams. West Indies and Bangladesh recently beat England and Australia respectively in Tests. Bangladesh would be looking for inspiration from their win against Australia to give up a tough fight to South Africa. But our vote goes to South Africa in the second Test.
Possible winner: South Africa