Chandika Hathurusingha addresses a media conference in Potchefstroom on Wednesday. Picture: GALLO IMAGES
Chandika Hathurusingha addresses a media conference in Potchefstroom on Wednesday. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha has boldly predicted that the Tigers could spring a surprise against the Proteas in Potchefstroom.

Hathurusingha, who has been coaching Bangladesh since 2014 and is largely credited with their vast improvement in Test cricket in recent years, said this was the best time to play SA.

"If you want to play against SA, this is the best time because they have a new head coach and they have a few injuries to key fast bowlers," he said.

"This is a good time for us to play them but we are fully aware that it is not going to be easy.

"They have been one of the best teams in the world over the past 10 years.

"When we play back home, we normally use two fast bowlers, but this is an opportunity to look at different combinations in SA.

"The team needs to step up in these unusual conditions and it will always be a challenge for subcontinent teams to come here and win a Test match — but that’s what we play cricket for.

"It is an opportunity to see where we are as a team.... If we can play well in the long sessions, winning will not be out of target for us.

"They have a few new players coming through, which is a good opportunity for us to get into the middle order early. But … the core of the team … Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock and Dean Elgar, is there.

"For us, we are without Shakib Al Hasan, which is a bigger challenge. It is not easy to replace someone like that.

"We are limited because he is an all-rounder, but we think we can still give a good account of ourselves here."

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