CAPETOWN: Hosts South Africa will face Bangladesh when the team starts the first of the two Tests at Kingsmead in Durban on Thursday.
South Africa does not have many regular players, including their first-choice fast bowling attack after the Indian Premier League contracted players were ruled out of the series.
Batsmen Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen are also missing for a fresh, inexperienced home line-up.
Captain Dean Elgar has tried to put a positive spin on him, but it comes as a blow to a Test team that has blown hot and cold in recent times.
“We have to do our next best in the country, which I still have full confidence in,” Elgar told reporters.
“It is a great opportunity to stand up for those guys and bring those other players under pressure. I believe they can do that.”
Elgar says the team is determined to quickly erase the memory of their first ODI series loss to Bangladesh earlier this month.
“Many players have been hurt by what happened in the ODI series. I was not involved in it but I am quite hurt about the result. I think it has fuelled us,” he said.
“Our hunger is going to stay there. We know this side of Bangladesh is not out of date. They are a new team with a western coaching staff who have changed their mindset regarding playing cricket in South Africa.
That “Westernised” technical team comes in the form of South Africa’s head coach Russell Domingo and bowling coach Allan Donald, who will be well-versed in local conditions.
Bangladesh has lost all their last six Tests in South Africa, losing five by an innings and the other by 333 runs. But this current side has more resolve and is coming out of an excellent 1-1 series draw in New Zealand in January.
Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan said, ‘I think the Test series will be more challenging. We all know that in ODIs we play cricket on real wickets.
“In Tests, teams take advantage of their (home) conditions, but since some of their key players are missing, we can be hopeful.”