Bangladesh will aim to finish a good home season with a win over South Africa © AFP
Bangladesh will aim to finish a good home season with a win over South Africa © AFP

Bangladesh take on South Africa in the second Test of the series at Dhaka starting July 30. This will be the final game of the series with both teams having their moments. South Africa came to Bangladesh having rested key players for this tour and were expected to be challenged by a confident Bangladesh side. Bangladesh did not live up to expectations in the Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) and were blanked 0-2. They also lost the  first One-Day International (ODI) and it looked like this could be a change in fortunes for Bangladesh after all the success against Pakistan and India but they came back in the series to win it 2-1 — their first series win over South Africa. They challenged South Africa in the first Test at Chittagong too, and had it not rained, the Test would have possibly ended up being a thriller.

Bangladesh know they need to more consistent and learn to win key moments in whites. It is something that has eluded the team and could have cost them big in the first Test. South Africa won the toss, batted first and were cruising for 104 for 1 by the end of first session, but Bangladesh came back superbly to restrict them to 248. It was the Mustafizur Rahman’s three wickets in an over that kept them in the game on the slowish deck. Read: Hashim Amla: South Africa to take many positives from drawn 1st Test against Bangladesh

Bangladesh had a chance then to put up a huge total on board and put the visitors under pressure. When both Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah scored fifties it seemed they would be able to get on top in a Test but they lost both of them quickly, and were eventually bowled out for 326 as rain started to take control of the Test. They got a lead of 78 runs, and South Africa were 61 for no loss when rains came on late on Day Three; the next two days were washed off as well.

With rain forecast during the second Test as well, one expects more of the same but both teams will want to work on their key areas and try to take the Test series. Bangladesh will want to improve as a team. Their ploy of playing three spinners might not be the best, given that they have Mahmudullah to chip in. They may consider getting in Rubel Hossain for Taijul Islam, who did not do much — but then, axing someone based on a single innings may be a tad too harsh. Soumya Sarkar was a surprise omit from the team and with him in form, Bangladesh may not do bad to include him. Read: Bangladesh’s decision to axe Soumya Sarkar for 1st Test vs South Africa a huge blunder

South Africa will want their new opening combination to settle down. With no AB de Villiers (who was blessed with a baby boy last week), Temba Bavuma stepped up with his maiden Test fifty — but South Africa will want their middle-order to step up and not collapse the way they did in the first Test. Dale Steyn is one short of 400 Test wickets and will be eager to get to the milestone. He will be the second South African to reach that milestone after Shaun Pollock. Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel will strive for more success, while Simon Harmer will be expected to do well on another deck which will probably suit the spinners. Read: Bangladesh vs South Africa 2015: Mushfiqur Rahim commends bowlers ahead of 2nd Test

South Africa are the stronger team on paper, but form and conditions make Bangladesh more than a threat. If Bangladesh play the way they did in the first Test, South Africa will have to be careful and not get too complacent. With rain around, interruptions will be expected as Bangladesh aim to complete a terrific home season with a win in whites over the top-ranked Test team. 

Squads:

Bangladesh: Mushfiqur Rahim (c&wk), Litton Das (wk),Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Mominul Haque, Shakib Al Hasan, Mohammad Mahmudullah, Soumya Sarkar, Nasir Hossain, Taijul Islam, Jubair Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Mohammad Shahid, Mustafizur Rahman.

South Africa: Hashim Amla (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy, Aaron Phangiso, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel, Dean Elgar, Reeza Hendricks, Stiaan van Zyl, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Simon Harmer, Temba Bavuma, Dane Vilas.

Time: 09:00 IST | 03:30 GMT | 09:30 Local

(Nikhil Popat is a cricket lover and a PotterHead. He can be followed on Twitter @CricCrazyNIKS)