Business Day

Bangladesh ready to surprise

- TimesLIVE

Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusin­gha has boldly predicted that the Tigers could spring a surprise against the Proteas in Potchefstr­oom, writes Mahlatse Mphahlele.

Hathurusin­gha, who has been coaching Bangladesh since 2014 and is largely credited with their vast improvemen­t in Test cricket in recent years, said this was the best time to play SA.

“If you want to play against SA, this is the best time because they have a new head coach and they have a few injuries to key fast bowlers,” he said.

“This is a good time for us to play them but we are fully aware that it is not going to be easy.

“They have been one of the best teams in the world over the past 10 years.

“When we play back home, we normally use two fast bowlers, but this is an opportunit­y to look at different combinatio­ns in SA.

“The team needs to step up in these unusual conditions and it will always be a challenge for subcontine­nt teams to come here and win a Test match — but that’s what we play cricket for.

“It is an opportunit­y to see where we are as a team .... If we can play well in the long sessions, winning will not be out of target for us.

“They have a few new players coming through, which is a good opportunit­y for us to get into the middle order early. But … the core of the team … Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock and Dean Elgar, is there.

“For us, we are without Shakib Al Hasan, which is a bigger challenge. It is not easy to replace someone like that.

“We are limited because he is an all-rounder, but we think we can still give a good account of ourselves here.” Proteas captain Faf du Plessis has advised opening batsman Aiden Markram to forget all the noise as he prepares to make his Test debut against Bangladesh, writes Mahlatse Mphahlele.

The 22-year-old Markram will open the batting with his Titans teammate Dean Elgar.

Du Plessis said it was important for him to stay focused.

“Enough has been said about Aiden in the past week or so and we know that he is a quality cricketer with youth on his side‚” Du Plessis said.

“For me‚ it is important that he doesn’t listen too much to the things that are being said out there about him. It is really important for him to stay focused on the fact that he is just playing another game and walking out to play as he would for the Titans‚” the captain of the Proteas said.

Du Plessis added that Markram should take everything in his stride in the build-up to the Test.

“He must make sure that there is no extra pressure on him and, in fact‚ try to take all that away from him.

“He must be as comfortabl­e as possible with the knowledge that he is going to play for SA.” /

 ?? /Gallo Images ?? Super bowl: Andile Phehlukway­o is in line to make his debut for the Proteas against Bangladesh on Thursday.
/Gallo Images Super bowl: Andile Phehlukway­o is in line to make his debut for the Proteas against Bangladesh on Thursday.

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