With series defeat looming large, Bangladesh will be fighting to regain their lost touch on the field in second ODI against South Africa on Sunday.
After spending nine months on a high, the Tigers were deflated by the Proteas with a clinical 2-0 sweep in T20s before an eight-wicket thrashing in the first ODI in Mirpur on Friday.
The second of the three-match series is scheduled for 3pm at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
The Proteas are fierce adversaries for teams that are ranked in the lower tier. The visitors proved their prowess with their dominating display against Bangladesh despite the hosts’ recent form.
South Africa have been light years ahead in all sections of the game in the tour while the Tigers have not been at their best.
The hosts’ batsmen are going through dramatic lapse of form with the whole lineup tuned down at the same time.
For the first time since December 2011, Bangladesh were bowled out for less than 200 when batting first in an ODI on Friday.
Although Bangladesh’s toporder did most of the work to prevail against Pakistan last April, their form was not all that good in the India series, but they managed to get the job done.
Bangladesh are troubled by tactical issues as well. Although captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza defended their strategy of leaving a specialist bowler out to employ eight batsmen, it was a confidence issue.
South Africa had an answer to every ploy Mashrafe tried so far. But his men are preparing to at least put up a fight, something they have failed to do in the series so far, on Sunday.
All Bangladeshi eyes will be on the skipper to marshal his resources and inspire the group to make a comeback.
Youngsters like Soumya, Sabbir Rahman, Liton Kumar Das, however, have a huge role to play for Bangladesh to make a turn around.
If Bangladesh opt to stick to their eight-batsman strategy, changes in the eleven are not much needed. Recalled batsman Anamul Haque is available on the bench.
They are likely to give toporder batsman Das another chance despite his tame dismissal in the middle of debutant paceman Kagiso Rabada’s hat-trick run last match.
But if they revert back to playing five specialist bowlers, either of southpaw spinner Arafat Sunny or frontline paceman Rubel Hossain is likely to be picked.
After their emphatic win in the first match, South Africa may look to continue in the same vein, so changes in their line-up are unlikely.
For the tourists, Rabada has been a sensation with his record-breaking effort on ODI debut. The young seamer generated great pace off the slow pitches in Mirpur.
The 20-year old said the first ODI wicket had a bit more grass than the T20s.
The wicket in the second ODI too is unlikely to have turn and will continue to be a dull surface.
Though there is again a forecast of rain, the prediction is not for the evening.