DHAKA: A new-look South Africa vowed to put their World Cup heartache behind them Wednesday as they began their tour of Bangladesh, promising not to underestimate their in-form hosts.
“It is our first series after the World Cup so our players are coming nice and fresh over the World Cup disappointment,” the Proteas’ coach Russell Domingo told reporters in Dhaka, a day after the team arrived in Bangladesh.
Many of the team are playing their first series for South Africa, Domingo said, adding that he expected that to give the squad “great energy”.
“Eddie Leie is making his debut, Chris Morris is back. So I think (there is) a lot of energy and determination to do well and play for the country.”
While India, Pakistan and New Zealand have all lost recent ODI series in Bangladesh, Domingo said his charges enjoyed coming to the sub-continent.
“I think South Africa’s record in the subcontinent has been good in the recent past. We won against Sri Lanka. We won a series against India recently,” he said.
“The sub-continent seems to bring out the best out of South Africa.”
South Africa lost to co-hosts New Zealand by four wickets in the World Cup semi-final in a nail-biting finish in March in Auckland that left some of their players, including captain AB de Villiers, in tears.
Batsman Faf du Plessis will lead a Twenty20 side in Bangladesh for two matches next week before Hashim Amla takes over for three one-day internationals and two Tests.
The two T20 matches will be held at Dhaka’s Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on July 5 and 7.
Du Plessis said he was expecting a tough challenge from Bangladesh, the World Cup quarter-finalists, after they defeated Pakistan 3-0 in an ODI series in April and beat India by 2-1 last month.
“It’s good for world cricket, they are no longer minnows,” said Du Plessis.
“They are beating big nations. It’s great to see them beat India. It’s a nice opportunity for a smaller team to show what they are all about.
“We have got a strong squad. We are going to play the best players to try and beat Bangladesh.”
Du Plessis said his side will be prepared for a spin assault, although Bangladesh successfully fielded four pace bowlers against India.
“I think that’s a surprising factor,” he said of Bangladesh.
“When you play against sub-continent teams you expect spinners turning up and I suppose India would have thought that as well.
“Whether they will do the same against us, I am not sure. I assume that because they did pretty well, you don’t think they are going to change too much but there probably be a bit more spin option.”
The first two ODIs will be played in Dhaka on July 10 and 12 before the teams travel to Chittagong for the final ODI on July 15.
The opening Test match will be played in Chittagong from July 21-25 while Dhaka will host the last Test from July 30 to August 3.