“They will come very hard to us, and we have to make sure that we play our best cricket,” says Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza. Photo: Reuters

LONDON – Even without the retired AB de Villiers, Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza and his team are bracing for a backlash when they face the Proteas at The Oval on Sunday.

England thrashed the Proteas by 104 runs in the World Cup opener last Thursday, and Mortaza is expecting South Africa to be geared up for their second encounter.

“Obviously AB de Villiers, when we played in South Africa, AB de Villiers was there and he played a big role. Without him, I think this team is also a very good side.

“There is Faf (du Plessis), who is a brilliant player, Hashim (Amla), Kagiso (Rabada) and some new guys. I think this team is a very dangerous side and they can – they can do anything,” Mortaza told the media on Saturday.

“The first match wasn’t great for them, but they always have chances to come back and do something at this World Cup.

“So, we are expecting that it will be a serious match. They will come very hard to us, and we have to make sure that we play our best cricket.”

Having watched fellow Asian teams Pakistan and Sri Lanka bounced out by express pace in two other World Cup matches already, there is a fear that Bangladesh may suffer the same fate against the likes of Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi.

Mortaza, though, says his team are prepared for the expected pace onslaught.

“Obviously there have been wicket-taking bowlers for South Africa for a long time. And we are expecting, also, that we are going to be tested with the bouncers and everything,” he said.

“But we are pretty confident to give our best shot, as I said, that they will test it. We will try to test them, as well. Soumya is in good form. Tamim is in good form.

“Hopefully they will test us and how we have to now going forward, how we have to play, we know our process, as well.

“You know, you have to have some luck, as well, so hopefully the luck will be with us, and our process obviously will be with us.”

Squads For The Oval

South Africa (from): Faf du Plessis (captain), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Chris Morris, Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dale Steyn, Imran Tahir, Rassie van der Dussen.

Bangladesh (from): Mashrafe Mortaza (captain), Abu Jayed, Liton Das, Mahmudullah, Mehidy Hasan, Mohammad Mithun, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mosaddek Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan, Soumya Sarkar, Tamim Iqbal.

@ZaahierAdams


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