A surprising ODI series win, complaint against umpires, an embarrassing Test match defeat and another complaint in the follow-up, Bangladesh’s action-packed tour to South Africa 2022 is finally about to end. The two sides play the second and final Test starting April 8 at St George's Park, Port Elizabeth. The match will be telecast live in India. Check telecast details HERE.
At Kingsmead, Durban, Bangladesh bowlers did a commendable job by picking all 20 South African wickets. But the batting failure in the final innings meant that the visitors lost the first Test by 220 runs.
Chasing a target of 274 runs, Bangladesh lasted just 19 overs for their lowest second-lowest (53 all out) total in a Test innings with spinners Keshav Maharaj and Simon Harmar claiming all ten wickets.
However, umpiring also came under scrutiny in the game. Not only did Bangladesh skipper Mominul Haque was unsatisfied with the umpiring, but also Shakib Al Hasan, who missed the Test series due to family reasons, came out on social media with a tweet.
The claim of Bangladesh players that they were subjected to sledging and the local umpires - Marais Erasmus and Adrian Holdstock were lenient towards South African players has made sure the second Test is going to be acrimonious.
"Sledging is quite normal, but the umpires didn't seem to notice it," Bangladesh skipper Mominul had said after the first Test. "The umpiring in the match is not in our control, but I think the ICC should think about bringing back neutral umpires."
Among the overall chaos, Bangladesh need to put their focus on the ground and their performance, otherwise the outside noise might hamper their enthusiasm on the field.
Taskin Ahmed, who bowled in the first Test despite suffering a shoulder injury, is almost certain to miss the second Test. What puts more pressure on Bangladesh is that Shoriful Islam too will not be available for selection due to an injury.
This means pacers Ebadot Hossain and Khaled Ahmed will have added responsibilities on their shoulders. Khaled was impressive in the first innings of the Durban Test by registering a four-fer, while Ebadot picked 5 wickets in the game.
Mahumudul Hasan Joy, who became the first Bangladesh player to score a Test century against South Africa, too will have to prove his mettle in the all-important clash.
On the other hand, Maharaj and Harmer will be entering the second Test high on confidence. Captain Dean Elgar will also look to continue his good batting form.
It is worth noting that both Bangladesh and South Africa have played 13 Test matches against each other with the Proteas winning 11 games and two ending in draws.
The South Africa vs Bangladesh two-match series is part of the ongoing ICC World Test Championship 2021-23.
While South Africa will look to win the game and seal the series, thus avenging the ODI series loss, Bangladesh will try to produce another turnaround and end the series on a high.