South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has praised Bangladesh for their recent performances in Test match cricket but warned that the upcoming two-Test series will be tough for them.
Du Plessis said the Proteas are not taking the visiting side lightly and that Bangladesh have to deal with the traditional fast and bouncy wickets of South Africa.
“Bangladesh’s cricket has really improved in the last two years and they are as tough as any other team to play against. Every single nation will tell you that. We have been there in Bangladesh and it's really tough going there. The standard and quality of cricket of Bangladesh have definitely been raised. This tour will be a real opportunity for them to show to the world that they can perform outside of their home. And that’s also the challenge. You only get measured when you play well away from home. So this tour will be a test for them. As I said, they have played very good cricket and they are confident. But time will tell when they play in different conditions,” Du Plessis said during the pre-Test press conference at Senwes Park, venue for the first Test starting Thursday.
The 33-year old Du Plessis said Bangladesh have to deal with pace and bounce on the South African wickets, just like the way the Proteas face spin barrage while touring the sub-continent.
“You are going to make sure that you test the opposition with the condition that they are not accustomed to. When we go to the sub-continent we get spinning pitches, you have to deal with it. So you are going to make sure that when you get the opportunity to play against sub-continent team, you take them out of their comfort zone a little bit, whether leaving grass on the pitch or sideways movement or trying to get some pace and bounce. We have to make sure that we use our home conditions well. Hopefully we will see out there in this Test match,” said the right-handed batsman.
The Proteas skipper also informed that they are not taking Bangladesh lightly and that they have to play good cricket to beat the tourist.
“As I am saying they are playing some really good cricket. They have beaten almost everyone who have gone to their country. But the conditions will be different here. It should be a challenge for them to come and beat us. But for me, after enough cricket to understand, I believe if you are not on top of your game then the opposition will beat you. So we are preparing like we prepare ourselves against any other country. We are not taking any Bangladeshi player lightly. We know we have to play well to beat them. If we play with full potential in these conditions then it could be difficult for Bangladesh. And similarly, if Bangladesh play with their full potential and we don’t, then it will be good competition.”
The first Test gets underway in Potchefstroom at 10am local time (2pm Bangladesh standard time).