Can Tamim Iqbal’s men win their first ever ODI in SA, or will Temba Bavuma’s team hold on to a proud 20-year record?
The home side will take heart from their series win against India in January, which followed an indifferent period for them in the 50-over format. Last year, South Africa lost to Pakistan at home, drew an away series in Ireland and then lost to Sri Lanka.
South Africa WWWLW (Last five completed matches; most recent first)
In the spotlight
Outside the four highly experienced cricketers in the visitors’ ranks, South Africa will be wary of the Litton Das factor. He got important runs in Bangladesh’s last three assignments against Pakistan, New Zealand and Afghanistan, effortlessly tailoring his game to suit all three formats. The 27-year-old will be facing another test of his temperament over the next several days but he certainly looks up for it.
Sisanda Magala misses this series due to injury. Kagiso Rabada will take his place with South Africa having full access to their best XI.
South Africa (probable): 1 Quinton de Kock (wk), 2 Janneman Malan, 3 Temba Bavuma (capt), 4 Aiden Markram, 5 Rassie van der Dussen, 6 David Miller, 7 Andile Phehlukwayo, 8 Dwaine Pretorius, 9 Kagiso Rabada, 10 Tabraiz Shamsi, 11 Lungi Ngidi
Unless they want to play a batter light, Bangladesh will go into the first game with the same XI that played the third ODI against Afghanistan on February 28.
Bangladesh (probable): 1 Tamim Iqbal (capt), 2 Litton Das, 3 Shakib Al Hasan, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 5 Yasir Ali, 6 Mahmudullah, 7 Afif Hossain, 8 Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 9 Taskin Ahmed, 10 Shoriful Islam, 11 Mustafizur Rahman
Pitch and conditions
Going by the last six completed ODIs at SuperSport Park, batting first isn’t a very popular decision. Four of those teams have lost the game after choosing to put runs on the board. Weather forecast is mostly dry.
Stats and trivia
- Aiden Markram is 101 runs short of 1,000 runs in ODIs.
- Mushfiqur Rahim is the only Bangladeshi to score a century in South Africa.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84