ODI Tri-Series Preview: SA vs Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe

7 06 2012

South African cricket fans have been dealt a cruel lesson in patience over the past few months. The much-awaited South Africa vs England series has seemed to loom for years, yet it is still over a month until the first warm-up match will be played. In the interim Protea fans will have to make do with a far less appetising triangular series involving the two minnows of Test cricket – Zimbabwe and Bangladesh (although many stronger Test nations have been trying their best to out-minnow them recently).
I mean no disrespect to the two nations when I say that they are highly unlikely to prove a massive challenge for the Proteas. My biggest worry as a Protea fan is that our team will struggle to adjust to “the next level” when we reach England after getting used to maintaining a “first-gear” approach in the triangular. 
On the flip-side, this series will help the development of Zimbabwe and Bangladesh’s national teams immensly. The experience they will receive is experience they desperately need in their attempts to develop into “genuine” Test outfits. Bangladesh, in particular, have heaps of high-quality youngsters in major need of some high-quality Test opposition so that they can develop as cricketers.
Players to watch:

South Africa: I sincerely hope to see Colin Ingram  be given another opportunity to show his mettle. The stylish left-hander is a limited-overs genius and needs gametime in the green and gold in order to gain the confidence on which he thrives in the SA domestic scene.

Bangladesh: Batsman, Bowler, Leader – Shakib Al Hasan does it all. One team has not relied on one player the way Bangladesh do since Brian Lara retired from international cricket, and the Bangladeshi outfit will be looking to him to be the rock around which they build an attempt to upset South Africa. He’ll be keen to dominate the Zimbabwe batsmen and bowlers, too.
Zimbabwe: Lanky pace bowler Shingurai Masakadzashowed great promise when Zimbabwe last toured South Africa and he’ll be looking to continue this good run this series. He has good pace and hits the deck hard – good traits for a pace bowler to have. He has the potential to eclipse the likes of Henry Olonga in this writers humble opinion, and this series would be a good place to start.
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