It’s often seen that teams that lose multiple long serving superstars at once to permanent injuries or retirements take considerable time getting out of their period of transition. The funk at times become semi-permanent.
It is good to see then that South Africa aren’t one of those sides. Having lose big names such as Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis and Dale Steyn in the last few years, they certainly dipped but their cricket is now on the rise again as it was evident in their ODI and Test wins over India, followed by a 1-1 away draw in the Test series against New Zealand.
The Africans have retained much of the squad that has done so well for them recently. However, pacers Sisanda Magala is unfit whereas Anrich Nortje is still recovering from a hip injury.
Bangladesh looked good in their ODI and T20I series against Afghanistan but those assignments and the one in hand now are starkly different. Facing South Africa in South Africa is a gargantuan task – one in which even the might India failed recently.
Interestingly, Bangladesh have never won a match in South Africa, which is another not-so-good omen for them.
Fortunately though, their coaching team has a massive South African influence. Head coach Russell Domingo is from South Africa while they have also roped in former Proteas allrounder Albie Morkel as power-hitting coach for the tour.
Another big boost for Bangladesh is the fact that their star allrounder Shakib Al Hasan has agreed to play this series after initially requesting the cricket board to grant him rest.