Only nine South African players sweated it out in the nets on Monday, but Aiden Markram - who stood in as a captain in its previous game against England - indicated that there was no question of taking the foot off the pedal when his side squares off against Bangladesh in the World Cup.
A superlative performance against the defending champion has certainly boosted South Africa’s confidence.
“We haven’t done particularly well against them (Bangladesh) in the past, so that’s extra motivation for us to come out and replicate what was a good performance against England ...”Aiden Markram, South Africa batter
But as it waits on clarity over the availability of its regular captain Temba Bavuma, it is cautious of a formidable Bangladesh line-up, boosted by the likely presence of captain Shakib Al Hasan.
After missing out on the last league game against India, Shakib batted for long in the nets. But he insisted that he will make himself available for the must-win game if he feels ‘comfortable’ while running and clears the fitness test.
Fast bowler Taskin Ahmed has been ruled out due to a shoulder injury.
South Africa, on the other hand, will be wary of the opponent, which is looking to return to winning ways.
Three of its six defeats to Bangladesh in ODIs have come in the last four years, and in the four World Cup outings so far - in 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019 - Bangladesh won twice, in 2007 and 2019.
“Whenever you play Bangladesh, it’s obviously a massive game for us. We haven’t done particularly well against them in the past, so that’s extra motivation for us to come out and replicate what was a good performance against England, but more from an intensity level and a standards level, that’s something that we’re going to try to focus on,” Markram said.
South Africa rode on Heinrich Klaasen and Marco Jansen’s heroics to set a 400-run target for Jos Buttler’s side, which will be a huge motivation going into the game against Bangladesh.
The Proteas will also look for runs from Quinton de Kock, who has enough experience of playing at the Wankhede Stadium in the IPL.
Bangladesh, on the other hand, will look to regroup its batting department, remaining one of the few teams to have failed to breach the 300-run mark despite high totals becoming the norm of the tournament.
Though Mushfiqur Rahim and Litton Das have been among the runs, the top-order has been inconsistent.
Though Bangladesh enjoys a good track record against South Africa in ODIs, in a fresh contest, it’s time to walk the talk.
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