October 8, 2002

Uphill struggle expected for Bangladesh

Bangladesh have a mountain to climb as they face up to South Africa in the last of three Standard Bank One-Day Internationals. The day/night encounter in Kimberley is not expected to be any different from the convincing South African wins of the first two matches.

Building a team for the World Cup in February 2003, the South African selectors are still working towards a balanced squad. National Convenor, Omar Henry, commented that there are still concerns over certain positions.

Four changes have been made. Out go Lance Klusener, Dale Benkenstein, Errol Stewart and Mfuneko Ngam and in come Jonty Rhodes, Ashwell Prince, Steve Elworthy and Robin Peterson.

Rhodes is over his hand injury, while Prince and Peterson have shown enough form in recent matches to warrant selection. Elworthy, the yo-yo selection of South African cricket, is recalled due to the Ngam injury and the `resting', as National Selection Convenor Omar Henry put it, of Klusener.

For Bangladesh this series continues to be a huge learning curve. The youngsters in the squad would have gained tremendous experience on the tour that can only stand them in good stead in the future.

The inability of the batsmen in getting into line to anything quicker than medium fast has been their downfall. Quite capable against the slower paced bowlers, scoring freely at times, they have had no answer to anything quick and short of a length.

For them it is also a time to look at their game plan. From this series it appears as if their only plan is to survive for 45 overs and then to try and get the run rate up in the final overs. A far more positive attitude could help their cause.

In the fielding department they have a lot of work to do between now and the World Cup. Far too many simple catches have gone down and the numerous fumbles in the outfield have to be minimised. To perform at this level every run saved could have a major impact on the game and the result.

South Africa should win the match at a canter, but with places still undecided for the World Cup every player will be giving 120 percent to secure a place in the final 15.

South Africa from: Shaun Pollock, Mark Boucher, Boeta Dippenaar, Allan Donald, Steve Elworthy, Herschelle Gibbs, Jacques Kallis, Makhaya Ntini, Robin Peterson, Ashwell Prince, Jonty Rhodes, Graeme Smith, Martin van Jaarsveld.

Bangladesh from: Khaled Mashud, Hannan Sarkar, Al Sahariar, Tushar Imran, Alok Kapali, Khaled Mahmud, Tapash Baisya, Manjural Islam, Javed Omar, and Talha Jubair, Habibul Bashar, Mohammad Rafique, Sanwar Hossain, Rafiqul Islam, Anwar Hossain.