After losing their first match against England in the tournament opener, South Africa would look to get their campaign back on track when they lock horns with Bangladesh in the 5th match of ICC World Cup 2019 at the Kennington Oval in London, today.
In a bid to shed their perennial tag of chokers, the Faf du Plesis-led side are desperate to have a successful campaign this time with a squad capable enough to win the World Cup. South Africa restricted England on 311/8 in their opening World Cup encounter, but the Proteas lost the match by 104 runs as the English bowlers rattled the middle-order of South Africa. The Faf du Plessis-led side would be aiming to win their second match to get their campaign back on track.
Bangladesh, on the other hand, have improved over the years in multi-nation tournaments. In ICC World cup 2015, they had qualified for the quarter-finals edition and finished and reached the semi-finals of the ICC Champions Trophy for the first time in 2017. After the last edition of the mega event, Bangladesh have won 13 away matches, beating New Zealand twice and West Indies, to improve their record on paper. They would be aiming to open their campaign with a win under their belt to boost their confidence in this six-week tournament.
Following are the players to watch out for in Proteas-Bangladesh clash:
Quinton De Kock
South Africa’s wicket-keeper batsman Quinton de Kock strengthens the top-order and provides speedy start to the innings. The left-hander has the ability to adapt according to the situation. Although South Africa lost its opening World Cup encounter to England, de Kock scored a well-compiled 74-ball 68 runs, including six boundaries and two sixes in an attempt to single-handedly save the sinking Proteas.
Faf du Plessis
The South African skipper has been in prime form in 2019 as he has been scoring runs at an average of above-60. He, along with De Kock, would be the main man to marshal the batting duties for his team in this World Cup. Despite him failing in the first match, du Plessis had impressed in the only warm-up match he got a chance to bat with a quick-fire 88 of 69 balls and his team would hope of him to continue the same.
The right-arm fast bowler possesses the skills of bowling both in-swingers and out-swingers. The 24-year old is also known for his toe-breaking yorkers in the death overs. Rabada finished at the second position in the highest wicket-takers’ list in the recently concluded Indian Premier League (IPL). In South Africa’s first World Cup match against England, Rabada returned with the figures of 2/66, which included a crucial wicket of Joe Root.
Shakib Al Hasan
Senior Bangladesh cricketer Shakib moved to the top in the ICC ODI rankings for all-rounders last month. The 32-year-old performed well during the tri-nation series against Ireland and West Indies. Shakib amassed 140 runs, including two unbeaten fifties. The left-arm bowler picked two wickets in a World Cup warm-up match against India, in which he stopped power hitter Hardik Pandya.
The veteran wicket-keeper from Bangladesh was the highest scorer of his team in the lone warm-up match they played. One of the most experienced players in the team, he would be one of the main in the middle order on whom his team would be banking to a large extent.
(With IANS inputs)