Bangladesh have chosen the bold option to bat first in the second Test against South Africa at Centurion. After their disappointingly meek performance in the first Test last week, Bangladesh will be desperate to prove that they have a deserving place among the world’s elite.
South Africa, meanwhile, have bolstered their pace attack by calling up Monde Zondeki, the right-arm seamer who last played in 2005. Zondeki replaces Paul Harris, who fractured his left thumb last week, thus weakening South Africa’s spin options. This ought not to affect their dominance, however, owing to Bangladesh’s vulnerability to pace.
Bangladesh’s two combined innings in the first Test lasted just 88.3 overs, and the second and final Test offers South Africa the opportunity to fine-tune ahead of their mouth-watering series against Australia. One man who needs slightly more than tuning is Morne Morkel, who conceded nearly seven-runs-per-over in the first innings, spraying the ball with alarming regularity. At the other end, however, South Africa have Dale Steyn who is rapidly becoming the finished article. His ninth five-wicket haul decimated Bangladesh’s second innings, while his career strike-rate stands at a venomous 36.6.
On a green and seaming Centurion surface, there will be plenty more on offer.
South Africa 1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 Neil McKenzie, 3 Hashim Amla, 4 Jacques Kallis, 5 AB de Villiers, 6 Ashwell Prince, 7 Mark Boucher (wk), 8 Morne Morkel, 9 Dale Steyn, 10 Makhaya Ntini, 11 Monde Zondeki
Bangladesh 1 Imrul Kayes, 2 Tamim Iqbal, 3 Junaid Siddique, 4 Mohammad Ashraful (capt), 5 Mehrab Hossain junior, 6 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 7 Shakib Al Hasan, 8 Mashrafe Mortaza, 9 Raqibul Hasan, 10 Shahadat Hossain, 11 Mahbubul Alam.
Will Luke is a staff writer at Cricinfo (and is NOT related to Luke Watson)