Bangladesh vs South Africa ODI series: Five talking points to mull over

Bangladesh vs South Africa ODI series: Five talking points to mull over

Bangladesh and South Africa will square off in a three-match ODI series beginning in Dhaka on Friday. There’s much at stake for Bangladesh while it’s a chance for South Africa to experiment a little. ANTOINETTE MULLER picks five talking points ahead of the series.

South Africa and Bangladesh will begin their three-match ODI series on Friday, with Bangladesh being extra motivated now that their Champions Trophy qualification hangs in the balance. Still, South Africa will be expected to come out on top. After their performances in the two-match T20 series, with a string of rookie bowlers, more of the same will be expected of the men in green and gold when they battle Bangladesh and the monsoon season as they play their first ODI game since their World Cup disappointment.

The series probably ranks quite low on the priority list, although, players and coaching staff will tell you that “every game matters”. The truth is , of course, they don’t. South Africa have secured qualification for the 2017 Champions Trophy and don’t have to really think about a World Cup for another year and a half. They can afford to experiment a little on this tour and most likely will.

Here are five talking points ahead of the three-match series beginning on Friday.

Kyle Abbott and those yorkers

Yorkers have become a rarity in one-day cricket, with bowlers preferring slower ball bouncers these days. Charl Langeveldt, South Africa’s new bowling coach, is from the old school, though, and was probably South Africa’s best executor of yorkers in his heyday. For Kyle Abbott, this must be a dream come true. Like Langeveldt, Abbott prefers yorkers to slower balls at the death and during the T20s, Abbott showed just how effective this delivery can be when bowlers get it right. While spin will certainly play a big part in the one-day series, Abbott’s ability to crunch toes as the innings begins to die down will be crucial for South Africa.

AB de Villiers’ absence

AB de Villiers is arguably the best batsman in the world. As long as he is in the team, South Africa will always believe that they have a chance, even when they are in the doldrums. De Villiers will not play in the one-day series, though. He was given a one-match ban for a slow overrate in the semi-final of the World Cup and management has subsequently decided to release him to go on his paternity leave early. Hashim Amla will take over captaincy duties for the one-day series, but losing a player of De Villiers’ calibre immediately puts South Africa on the back foot.

Eddie Leie or Aaron Phangiso?

Imran Tahir is the incumbent spinner in the one-day team, but with the turning tracks in Bangladesh, South Africa might be brave and opt to play more than one spinner. Eddie Leie had a stellar debut in the T20 series and has been added the to the ODI squad as a result. Aaron Phangiso, however, is ahead of him in the pecking order as it stands, but South Africa might be brave enough to chop, change and try new things.

Rilee Rossouw’s chance

Rilee Rossouw got his chance to make an impact towards the latter parts of the World Cup and with an average of over 50.00 in the six games he played, he has almost certainly secured a more permanent spot in the team. With De Villiers out of the picture for the series, Rossouw should feature in all three matches. However, South Africa still have seemingly no idea of what their XI combination is. There’s a fairly busy season coming up and with Ryan McLaren returning, Rossouw might have to make way at some point in favour of an all-rounder. However, if he scores enough runs, there is no way he can be ignored when South Africa host New Zealand and travel to India later in the year.

Quinton de Kock’s form, again

Since the injury which nearly kept him out the World Cup, Quinton de Kock hasn’t been the same. He showed some promise of return to form during the T20s, but one-day games are a different kettle of fish. He will be back opening with Amla in the ODIs, which should allow De Kock to continue playing his natural, attacking game. But he has to guard against getting too over-excited against the Bangladeshi spinners. His place in the side isn’t really under threat… yet, so a failure on this tour isn’t exactly going to send him to the curb, but South Africa has a tough few months ahead and they need De Kock to find his centre, especially when the Test series begins. DM

Photo: South Africa’s Quinton de Kock avoids being run out during their final one-day international (ODI) cricket match against Pakistan in Benoni March 24, 2013. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko


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