Bloemfontein: The conditions were favourable for batting for most parts of the first Test, and especially the first day, in Potchefstroom, but Bangladesh probably missed a trick in opting to field after winning the toss.
The 333-run defeat is in the past, though, and Bangladesh has a chance to make amends in the second Test, to begin at Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein on Friday, and in its favour is the fact that South Africa’s already injury-hit bowling attack looks even thinner on paper.
It is likely to be bowler-friendly at Mangaung Oval but the South African bowling department has been stripped of four front-line fast bowlers because of injury. Morne Morkel hobbled out of the first Test because of a side strain, and joined Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Chris Morris on the sidelines.
Kagiso Rabada, 22, is now the leader of the attack, and should have for company some of Duanne Olivier, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, who took one wicket in his debut Test in Potchefstroom, and Dane Paterson, who was called up as Morkel’s replacement.
But there’s Keshav Maharaj, being talked about as South Africa’s best spin bowler in recent years, and he could be a threat again after picking up seven wickets in the first Test.
Unfortunately for Bangladesh won't be the experience and ability of Tamim Iqbal at the top of the batting order either. Tamim, who scored 39 and a duck in the first Test, will miss the second game due to a thigh injury, and that will come as a setback for Bangladesh.
For the record, in the only first-class match played at Mangaung Oval this season, 11 wickets fell on the first day, but only another nine went down while 1010 runs were scored on the next three.
Along with reworking its approach, Bangladesh might also want to rethink its choice of personnel. It picked three pacers for the first Test, but apart from Mustafizur Rahman, the others didn’t look too impressive.
Mehedi Hasan, meanwhile, was forced to lead the spin attack pretty much alone. With Taijul Islam, who has 54 wickets from 15 Tests, in the touring party, the team might want to explore the option of fielding two spinners.
Their three seam bowlers, with the exception of left-armer Mustafizur Rahman, were largely ineffectual on an easy-pace pitch.
South Africa: Faf du Plessis (capt), Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock (wk), Keshav Maharaj, Andile Phehlukwayo, Wayne Parnell, Kagiso Rabada, Duanne Olivier, Theunis de Bruyn, Dane Paterson.
Bangladesh: Mushfiqur Rahim (capt), Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Sabbir Rahman, Mahmudullah, Mominul Haque, Liton Das (wk), Mehedi Hasan, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Shafiul Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Subashis Roy.
Pitch and condition
A few days before the Test, the track was nearly indistinguishable from the outfield, and with persistent rain keeping it under covers, the pitch may prove to be tricky for batsmen on both sides
Stats and trivia
October 6-10, 2017
Start time 10:00 local (08:00 GMT)