Can Bangladesh upset the Proteas to begin the WC with a brisk start?
If anyone ask about the experience of the players in this year’s ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, then Bangladesh will surely be in the top 3 in that list. Since they knocked out England in the previous World Cup in 2015, many things were changed. They played and they won in all over the world. As a result, they came to this World Cup as 7th ranked team in international cricket. [নিউজটি বাংলায় পড়ুনঃ বিশ্বকাপের প্রথম ম্যাচে কেমন হবে টাইগার একাদশ?]
Tigers are also ready for their first match in this World Cup. They will face South Africa on Sunday June 2 at The Oval in London. South Africa started their World Cup campaign with a poor performance against host England. They lost the match by a huge margin of 104 runs. In reply of England’s 311, dismissed for just 207 South Africa’s bid to win the World Cup for the first time is off to the worst possible start. They were outplayed by England in all the sections in that match.
And what added more concern was the injury of their opener Hashim Amla. He received a hit on the head off a Jofra Archer bouncer on Thursday against England. For that, he was not spotted in the practice session and a doubtful starter against Bangladesh. David Miller is in contention to replace him.
While Bangladesh side who have come into the World Cup on the back of an impressive Tri-series triumph against the West Indies and Ireland. But Bangladesh are also dealing with injuries. Their captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza will play with hamstring strain while, Tamim’s wrist injury is a worry to Bangladeshi management. Tamim will make a final call before the start of the match. Even pacer Mohammad Saifuddin is suffering from back injury and will play this match taking pain killer.
After a 104-run defeat in the first match, South Africa are in search of their first victory against an experienced Bangladeshi side. “We comprehend what’s going on with the wicket now, so we ought to improve. Yet, saying that, we are against Bangladesh and we realize how well they can play. They are a decent group too. We will return and assess from that point,” South Africa wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock said.
Unfortunately for Proteas fans, Steyn has not yet received a green signal as South African management is looking to keep him fresh for their third match against India that is scheduled to take place on Wednesday. So, against Bangladesh the pace attack will consist of their two main pacers – Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi, other two assistant medium pacers- Andile Phehlukwayo and Dwaine Pretorius and the leg-spin of the evergreen Imran Tahir.
But no bowling attack is enough for the Tigers if they are in their song on their day. If their main “five” players can perform together, it will be easy for them to start the World Cup with a win. Also the top-orders of Bangladesh are in superb form, which they showed in the recent tri-series. But the problem is with the finishers. Sabbir Rahman isn’t in good form at the moment, so Mosaddek Hossain could replace him. Mosaddek can also bowl if the team need.
The pitch will be a similar one utilized in the opening match against England, so South Africa will comprehend what’s in store: a tinge of green, some early nip, and good bounce. A cloudy day will add to the early difficulties for the batsmen, however this wasn’t the speediest track on Thursday, and any mileage to the surface may well assistance Bangladesh, who could without much of a stretch shake through at least 30 overs of spin. But the chasing team must be ready to chase 300+ runs in that surface.
This will be the fourth time that these two sides have met at a Cricket World Cup. South Africa triumphed in 2003, yet Bangladesh earned their retribution when they met in 2007. Then, in the 2011 World Cup Bangladesh meekly surrendered against South Africa in front of their home crowd in a must-win encounter. Will Bangladesh fulfill the expectations and level the head to head competition or will South Africa make a comeback and make the head to head 3-1 at the World Cup?
Bangladesh (Probable XI): Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Mehidy Hasan, Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Mohammad Saifuddin, Mustafizur Rahman.
South Africa (Probable XI): Quinton de Kock (wk), Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis (c), Rassie van der Dussen, JP Duminy, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir.