1st Test, Durban, March 31 - April 04, 2022, Bangladesh tour of South Africa
367 & 204
(T:274) 298 & 53

South Africa won by 220 runs

Player Of The Match

Bangladesh eye South Africa success after Mount Maunganui miracle

South Africa grappling with the unavailability of their experienced Test stars away at the IPL

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
Mominul Haque and Mushfiqur Rahim share an embrace, New Zealand vs Bangladesh, 1st Test, Mount Maunganui, 5th day, January 5, 2022

Mominul Haque and Mushfiqur Rahim embrace each other  •  Getty Images

Big picture

362 caps v 206 caps.
For the first time since they got Test status in 2000, Bangladesh are in South Africa with an opportunity to challenge the home team. They have already won the ODI series, they have the more experienced Test squad, and can potentially take advantage of South Africa missing their IPL stars in the two-match series.
South Africa captain Dean Elgar has toned down the rhetoric after he had called the players' choice between national duty for this series and IPL as a "litmus test of loyalty." Having not got his way with the squad, the onus is on Elgar to bat, bat and contribute big.
Elgar will heavily bank on Temba Bavuma and Keshav Maharaj, the other experienced players, along with Duanne Olivier, the fast bowler who leads an inexperienced pace attack. Maharaj may be able to bowl in tandem with offspinner Simon Harmer. who is set to return to international cricket for the first time since 2015.
The only solace for the home side is that Bangladesh won't have Shakib Al Hasan, who is home for personal reasons. Shakib aside, Bangladesh have their best players available, particularly with Tamim Iqbal back in the Test fold after missing the New Zealand series. Bangladesh can look at that tour for inspiration too, having recorded their first-ever Test win in New Zealand.
Tamim, Mominul and Mushfiqur would once again carry the batting. Their form will be particularly crucial because Bangladesh have averaged 18 with the bat in South Africa, so just like the ODI series, they have a lot of room for improvement in this country.

Form guide

South Africa WLWWL (Last five completed matches; most recent first)
Bangladesh LWLLW

In the spotlight

Taskin Ahmed was named Player of the ODI Series. This has helped rebuild his reputation in South Africa after his disastrous 2017 tour. That said, Taskin has lots to prove in Test cricket still. The initial signs are encouraging. Over the past 11 months, he has brought down his bowling average from 97.42 to 56.73. He'll be looking to improve further.
All eyes will be on Dean Elgar whose 74 caps make up for one-third of South Africa's Test experience ahead of the series. Apart from, of course, wanting talk about the missing stars to die down, he has to bounce back with some runs too, having managed just 55 runs in four innings.

Team news

From the XI that beat New Zealand by 198 runs to level the series last month, South Africa will be without Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Marco Jansen and Kagiso Rabada. Ryan Rickelton is likely to be handed a debut, while Harmer, Olivier and Keegan Petersen could also get games.
South Africa (probable): 1 Dean Elgar (capt), 2 Sarel Erwee, 3 Keegan Petersen, 4 Ryan Rickleton, 5 Temba Bavuma, 6 Kyle Verreynne (wk), 7 Wiaan Mulder, 8 Simon Harmer, 9 Duanne Olivier/Glenton Stuurman, 10 Keshav Maharaj, 11 Lutho Sipamla
Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudul Hasan Joy will form the opening pair while Mushfiqur Rahim returns to the middle order after missing the second Test in New Zealand in January.
Bangladesh (probable): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Mahmudul Hasan Joy, 3 Najmul Hossain Shanto, 4 Mominul Haque (capt), 5 Mushfiqur Rahim, 6 Yasir Ali, 7 Litton Das (wk), 8 Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 9 Taskin Ahmed, 10 Shoriful Islam, 11 Ebadot Hossain

Pitch and conditions

Rain is in the forecast for the first four days in Durban. The Kingsmead pitch is synonymous with pace and bounce but spin has played its part in recent years. First-class teams this year have averaged 400 runs in the first two innings.

Stats and trivia

  • South Africa have four uncapped players in their current Test squad. In 2017, they fielded two debutants in the Potchefstroom Test, the most against Bangladesh.
  • Bangladesh captain Mominul Haque and South Africa's Temba Bavuma will play their 50th Test in Durban on Thursday. Mominul will be Bangladesh's seventh, and Bavuma South Africa's 24th.
  • Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

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