Losing up to six Test team regulars to the IPL is a blow for South Africa, who are looking to maintain their unbeaten Test run under Dean Elgar. The southpaw is yet to lose a series of tries after being named captain.
However, their upcoming challenge against Bangladesh is formidable given their depleted resources and choice of venues.
Elgar was not the captain the last time Proteas lost a home Test series to a sub-continental side. It was just three years ago when Sri Lanka stunned South Africa by winning a Test series 2-0.
Interestingly, both losses to Sri Lanka in this series came at the exact same locations that were declared for this series. Durban and Port Elizabeth provide conditions that have sometimes helped Asian teams.
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South Africa will have a huge selection headache before announcing their test squad against Bangladesh. Their bowling attack will be severely damaged following the absence of Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi. On top of that, Anrich Nortje is yet to return to full fitness.
Simpala has played for the Test team before and his performances have been inconsistent. Both of these players have been heavily criticized for their high save rates, which has raised concerns about their selection.
The South African team are desperate to respect other performers in the four-day domestic competitions as they take on Bangladesh on flatter wickets. With Duanne Olivier leading the attack, South Africa must call on Gauteng’s fast bowler Delano Potgieter.
Potgieter was the second wicket-taker this season among fast bowlers, behind Olivier. More importantly, his batting abilities will add strength to South Africa’s tail.
Kyle Simmonds of the Western Province is another who deserves to be called upon to reinforce Keshav Maharaj. Simmonds finished the season as the second wicket taker in the four-day national franchise tournament.
From a batting perspective, CSA will have to replace the services of Aiden Markram and Rassie Van der Dussen. Ryan Rickleton is as good as it comes. The stylish right-hander boasts of an average of over 50 in first-class cricket.
Given Markram’s lack of form, Proteas might consider other options. from the east Wesley Marshall also emerged as one of the top mid-tier players on the National Tour. Marshall also topped his team’s scoring charts and has the experience of over 70 top-class games.
It’s time for CSA to reward its four-day veterans as they look to replace their key performers.