Preview- Mighty South Africa begin favorites against Bangladesh
Bangladesh has made rapid strides in international cricket in the past five years, and they are no longer the pushovers they once were. However, when they clash against the mighty South Africans in their first ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 game, it will be a real tough challenge.
Bangladesh are at No.7 on the ICC ODI Rankings list while South Africa is the No.3 team. And even though Bangladesh have won 2 of the last five games between the sides, both those games were played at their home ground.
South Africa, hence, start as favourites for this encounter. They have a settled batting unit and the likes of captain Faf Du Plessis, Quinton De Kock, Hashim Amla, Aiden Markram, JP Duminy and David Miller form a robust batting order.Embed from Getty Images
It is South Africa’s bowling, though, which is the most threatening and can easily dismantle the opposition’s batting. Kagiso Rabada is the best young pacer in the world and will be the one to watch out for against Bangladesh’s batting. The return of Dale Steyn is an excellent addition to their bowling unit, and fiery pacer would be itching to make an impact. Leg-spinner Imran Tahir has been in good form and can make inroads in the middle overs.
The task will be cut out for Mashrafe Mortaza’s Bangladesh. They haven’t been in great ODI form in 2019 and were thumped 0-3 on their tour to New Zealand earlier this year. Bangladesh will bank on the experience of Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah and Soumya Sarkar to do the bulk of the scoring for them. Wicket-keeper-batsman Liton Das and all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan can also be impact performers with the bat.Embed from Getty Images
Bangladesh’s bowling has variety and Mustafizur Rahman, who hasn’t been at his best of late, will be crucial to the team’s prospect. If he can find juice in the pitch and unleash his off-cutters, then he can be tough to handle. Rubel Hossain has shown that he can be a threatening fast bowler and can do damage.
The only way Bangladesh can make real inroads into South Africa’s batting unit is through their spin bowling. And that is where Shakib Al Hasan and Mehidy Hasan Miraz will be crucial.
However, even Bangladesh’s best efforts might not be enough for a well balanced and strong South African team.
Pitch conditions and South Africa vs Bangladesh Prediction:
The pitch at Kennington Oval is expected to be batting friendly. The highest total achieved here is a massive 398-5 by New Zealand against England in 2015. The pitch stays true even during the 2nd innings, and big scores can be chased down.
We should expect a high-scoring match and if South Africa bat first, they should get more than 320-plus. Bangladesh, if they bat first, would do well to score 300. Given how well-balanced South Africa is, it will take a herculean task from Bangladesh to upstage them.