Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza (left) will hope for his team to continue his team's rampant form in ODIs at home    Getty Images
Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza (left) will hope for his team to continue his team’s rampant form in ODIs at home Getty Images

Bangladesh host South Africa for first of the three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) at Dhaka. They lost the Twenty20 International (T20I) series against South Africa 2-0 but will want to put it behind them and go ahead to continue the momentum they have built in one-dayers over the last two series at home. ALSO READ: South Africa win T20 series 2-0 with 31-run win in 2nd ODI

Bangladesh whitewashed Pakistan 3-0 and then were clinical against India to win the series 2-1. If they hit Pakistan as a team with Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim scoring big runs for them, it was the cutters from Mustafizur Rahman that had their neighbours India in trouble, picking up as many as 13 wickets in three games most for any bowler in a three-match ODI series.

Bangladesh will want to continue the good work they have done and catch South Africa off-guard. The tourists will without be some key players. Bangladesh have drafted in the likes of Mahmudullah and Anamul Haque when they announced a 14-man squad for the first two one-dayers. ALSO READ: Mashrafe Mortaza clueless about Bangladesh’s batting failures against South Africa

Mahmudullah was injured during ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 after scoring consecutive tons and so was Anamul. Both have found their place back in the side. They will hope to gel well with an ODI team which seems to be on top of their game. Soumya Sarkar has been phenomenal at the top and looks a bright prospect. Despite South Africa not having the best of attacks, the hosts will need to at their best.

How Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim perform can be a deciding factor in how the series pans out. If Mustafizur can continue his impressive wicket taking form against South Africa, Bangladesh will have more than just a chance.

South Africa have a few worries of their own. Morne Morkel will lead the bowling attack in the absence of Dale Steyn. AB de Villiers is serving a ban for slow over-rate in the close fought semi-final against New Zealand. He has been rested from the series. Leg-spinner Eddie Leie, who debuted in the second T20I on Tuesday, will replace de Villiers in the squad. Hashim Amla, their Test captain, will lead the ODI side. ALSO READ: AB de Villiers will leave for South Africa before end of Bangladesh ODI series

The return of Amla will be a huge boost for South Africa, who will want to avoid the fate Pakistan and India suffered. A part of this will involve their bowlers step up to plate. They will want Aaron Phangiso and Leie to continue the good work they did in T20Is.

The middle order, consisting of David Miller, JP Duminy and Faf du Plessis, will be eyeing to rack up big scores in AB s absence. Farhaan Behardien might get a game as well, which may mean that South Africa play either Wayne Parnell or Chris Morris to back up the two spinners and the pair of Morkel and Kyle Abbott.

South Africa would go into the series as favourites with their all-round abilities but Bangladesh will take heart from their recent performances and hope to start on a positive note.


Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque, Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Mahmudullah, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Sabbir Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Litton Das (wk), Arafat Sunny, Jubair Hossain, Rubel Hossain and Mustafizur Rahman.

South Africa: Hashim Amla (c), Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Rilee Rossouw, David Miller, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Kagiso Rabada, Farhaan Behardien, Kyle Abbott, Morne Morkel, Eddie Leie, Imran Tahir, Ryan McLaren.

Time: 15.00 local | 0900 GMT | 14.30 IST

(Nikhil Popat is a diehard cricket enthusiast and a PotterHead till the end of time. He can be followed on Twitter @CricCrazyNIKS)