First Test preview: South Africa v Bangladesh

Bangladesh have been afforded a rare opportunity to turn out in Test cricket in South Africa but with that come certain challenges.

Not only will their batsmen have to cope with steep bounce and pace their bowlers face an adjustment to the conditions as well.

Many a seamer greeted with the prodigious bounce common and the hard South African pitches has gone bouncer happy and failed to test the batsmen.

South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis will be eager to lead his troops in a fightback after a disappointing tour to England which had followed a highly successful 2016/17 season.

The Proteas will trial yet another opening pair but their is a real sense of optimism that Aiden Markram and Dean Elgar can strike up a prolific partnership.

South Africa are still without AB de Villiers with Theunis de Bruyn the man likely to benefit from his absence after his 195 in last week's Sunfoil Series.

Bangladesh are also without a star name with Shakib-al-Hasan, like De Villiers, taking a break from the longest format of the game.

His withdrawal leaves Bangladesh playing a balancing act having effectively lost both a frontline batsman and a bowler.

For all the progress made by Bangladesh over the last two years their lack of experience in South Africa could leave them struggling against a team who haven't lost a home Test since the defeat to England in January 2016 at the Wanderers.

The bowling unit is young and green and their top order has been struggling for form leaving the skipper Mushfiqur Rahim the task of holding the Tiger's top order together.

The Proteas look to have in-form batsmen and despite Vernon Philander being unavailable for the first Test they still sport a strong bowling attack.

Both of the 2015 Tests in Bangladesh were washed out so this match holds a fair amount of the unknown for the teams.

Key Players

Dean Elgar has found consistency at the top of the order over the last few seasons and if he can insulate the middle-order against the new ball the big guns waiting in the wings can cash in.

Kagiso Rabada has become the cornerstone of the Proteas attack leading the wicket-taking stakes for the Proteas since his debut.

Mushfiqur will need to hold together the Tiger's top order and prevent the frequent collapses that have plagued his team.

Mustafizur Rahman is likely itching to get going on the lightning quick SA surfaces and he is a bowler who could trouble the Proteas batsmen.

Squads

South Africa: Faf du Plessis (capt), Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock (wkt), Theunis de Bruyn, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel, Duanne Olivier, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo

Bangladesh: Mushfiqur Rahim (capt/wkt), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Sabbir Rahman, Mahmudullah, Mominul Haque, Liton Das (wkt), Mehidy Hasan, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Shafiul Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Subashis Roy

Last five head-to-head results

2015 Second Test: Drawn match in Dhaka
2015 First Test: Drawn Match in Chittagong
2008 Second Test: South Africa won by an innings and 48 runs at Supersport Park
2008 First Test: South Africa won by an innings and 129 runs in Bloemfontein
2008 Second Test: South Africa won by an innings and 205 runs in Chittagong

Details

Senwes Park, Potchefstroom

September 28 – 1 November 2017

10.00 start, Lunch 12.00-12.40, Tea 14.40-15.00, Close 17.00

Umpires: Chris Gaffaney and Bruce Oxenford
TV Umpire: Kumar Dharmasena
Reserve Umpire: Shaun George
Match Referee: Ranjan Madugalle

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