Cape Town - The Proteas are
excepting a tougher challenge from Bangladesh in the three-match One-Day International (ODI) series starting at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley on
The visitors were comprehensively outplayed in the 2-0 Test
series whitewash, but will be targeting a comeback in a format they have been
competitive in over the years.
The No 7
ranked Bangladesh, who stunned New Zealand with a five-wicket win to reach the
ICC Champions Trophy semi-finals earlier this year, will be boosted by the
return of star all-rounder, Shakib Al Hasan, who made himself unavailable for
the Test series.
leg-spinner Imran Tahir says the squad is treating the series with due
respect, despite coming in as overwhelming favourites.
proved that during the Champions Trophy, they qualified for the semi-finals,"
Tahir said of Bangladesh's strength in Kimberley on Thursday.
"They are not an
easy team to beat if people think that. We have to prepare like we do for any
"We have to
continue with the type of cricket we have been playing over the last two to
three years, I have no doubt we can beat any team. It is the first game of the
season in South Africa so we are up for it and will make sure we cover all of our
areas for this game.
"We want to
win," he said of the series objectives.
"We have three practice days to work
hard in preparation of the series. We need to be fully prepared, we are playing
an international side, you can't just arrive, turn over the arm and beat the
team. We are up for it, we want to compete and play as hard as we can to win."
is the start of Ottis Gibson's road to the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup as coach,
with every match from here on building the platform towards silverware in
For the 38-year-old Tahir, the series is another opportunity to
continue doing what he loves best - playing for South Africa.
"If we are
looking ahead to the World Cup we will need to play hard cricket," he
explained. "We don't have to win all the games that are coming in front of us,
a win or a loss doesn't matter, as long as you try your best and cover all the
areas that you need to as a team. I have no doubt we will do that, this team
has big potential and starting from this series will be good prep for the World
"Personally, I would love to be there," he said of the 2019 showpiece.
to work hard on my fitness and do well for South Africa to make sure I am
there. I don't want to leave the space that I'm in at the moment, I love my
cricket, that is my life and I want to give everything I've got for South
Africa. That is how I want to play my cricket until the end."
The first of three ODIs gets underway on Sunday in Kimberley at 10:00.