|Event:||Bangladesh in South Africa 2008/09|
DateLine: 19th November 2008
South Africa will be raring to go in the first test against Bangladesh starting today at Bloemfontein. They will be starting this season knowing fully well that the end will not be that easy. They know fully well that the series is basically a dress rehearsal for the back to back series against Australia at home and away. They would want to demolish Bangladesh knowing fully well that Australia will be eagerly waiting for them at home.
Bangladesh on the other hand seem to be struggling to come to terms with South African conditions. They don't seem to do well at test level any way. They squandered a golden opportunity of winning a test series at home against the Kiwis. This series will just be a learning curve for them on how to bowl or bat in bouncy conditions.
South Africa will be looking towards their Pace Quartet of Ntini, Mornie Morkel, Steyn and Kallis to do the job against the Bangladesh team. They will find this potent bowling attack extremely tough to negotiate. They would bank on any score of above 200 to be a good one. Bangladesh captain Mohammed Ashraful will want to lead by example as he is one the better backfoot players in this team, which is needed in this sort of conditions. Apart from him they will be looking at useful contributions from their dashing opener Tamim Iqbal and wicket keeper Mushfiqur Rahim. On the bowling front they will look at Mashrafe Murtaza, Shahadat Hussain to exploit the wicket conditions. Shakib Al Hasan who had such a wonderful series against New Zealand at home, will find the going tough here with not much purchase for the spinners.
South Africa captain Graeme Smith will want to get some runs under his belt to get some confidence going into the series against Australia. He has not had much of cricket under his belt, because of injury, and some runs will do his confidence no harm. Neil Mckenzie has been a good foil to him as an opener this year. The fact that they started their combination with a world record partnership against this team early this year will not be great news for the visitors. The middle order has been in good form with Amla , Kallis,AB devillers and Boucher all among runs.
South Africa would want to start on a positive note ahead of a long tough season awaiting them. Bangladesh on the other hand will want to make some impact and take positives from this tour going towards the future. A win will do their cause no harm.