T20 series preview: Bangladesh v Proteas
South Africa haven't played any cricket as a team since that World Cup semi-final exit in late March, while Bangladesh have recorded ODI series wins over Pakistan and India, and will be eager to continue that trend.
The T20 series, consisting of two matches, will be played entirely in Dhaka, and while the Proteas will be favourites on paper, the extra game time and resulting confidence could see the Tigers pose a real threat.
Of course, Faf du Plessis' men will be boosted after their easy win over a BCB XI on Friday, winning by eight wickets only because AB de Villiers and Quinton de Kock retired themselves out in a chase of 100. the easy win wasn't really what they'd have wanted, given their lack of match practice.
Many of the Proteas did play in the IPL though, and De Villiers looked as good as ever. The batting line up is at full strength, though no Hashim Amla, but the bowling is where the second-string can shine.
There's no Dale Steyn, no Morne Morkel, no Vernon Philander. To be fair, only Morkel's absence is notable, with the other two not really impacting in T20s recently. This will be a great chance for the likes of Beuran Hendricks, Kagiso Rabada, and David Wiese to shine, while Chris Morris will want to continue his IPL form.
Spinning-wise, Aaron Phangiso and Eddie Leie will hope for chances to make an impact, with JP Duminy picked as the premier all-rounder. This will be their chance to show they're more than 'quota' picks.
The Tigers have been able to call on spinner Sohag Gazi for the first time since late last year, after he was banned for chucking. He remodelled his action and was cleared in February, but this is his first call-up since then.
He and Arafat Sunny could provide a few problems for the Proteas if the deck turns, while Rubel Hossain will be the pace threat. They are without Taskin Ahmed though, who picked up a side strain against India.
Also missing are Mahmudullah and Abdul Hasan, the former due to injury and the latter to bad form. Mushfiqur Rahim is in the squad, despite still recovering from a finger injury.
For the Tigers, Shakib-al-Hasan is their best T20 player, if not their best player in general, and he will again be looked at for runs and wickets. He's their only T20 mercenary, with IPL and Big Bash stints, and so knows the Proteas better than most.
The visitors will look to AB de Villiers for the runs, and fans will be eager to see him bat higher than normal. He opened the batting against the BCB XI, so will the coach keep him there to maximise his time in the middle?
Last Two Head-To-Head Results
2007 World Twenty20: South Africa won by seven wickets in Cape Town
2008 Only T20: South Africa won by 12 runs in Johannesburg
Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Tamim Iqbal, Litton Das, Rony Talukdar, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan (vice-capt), Mushfiqur Rahim, Sabbir Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Arafat Sunny, Jubair Hossain, Sohag Gazi, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman
South Africa: Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock, Rilee Rossouw, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, David Miller, David Wiese, Chris Morris, Kyle Abbott, Kagiso Rabada, Aaron Phangiso, Eddie Leie, Wayne Parnell, Beuran Hendricks.
First T20: 5 July in Dhaka
Second T20: 7 July in Dhaka
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