Cape Town – Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis demand for a green wicket has been answered leading up to the second Test at Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein.
Following the Proteas’ 333-run triumphant in Potchefstroom, Du Plessis expressed his unhappiness over the pitch at Senwes Park.
The Proteas skipper requested more pace and bounce, but instead saw a flat and slow surface. Despite that, the Proteas managed a convincing win.
Bloemfontein local Duanne Olivier said that despite the wicket being known as one of the flattest, he was encouraged by the photos sent to the Proteas dressing room of a wicket full of green grass.
“Playing two weeks ago, the wicket was quite flat and there wasn’t much assistance, but this pitch will be totally different,” Olivier told reporters on Wednesday.
“The wicket looks quite green. To bowl here you need to try and be aggressive and stay patient as long as possible. Hopefully we will get wickets early.
“If we can just do the basics right and be prepared to fight until day five, I think we can come out on top. “
The Proteas have not played Test cricket at Mangaung Oval since November 2008 – when they again took on Bangladesh and prevailed by an innings and 129 runs.
Olivier, who has only played four Test matches for the Proteas, was sentimental about playing his first Test at his home ground, which gets underway on Friday.
“To be back in my home ground, it’s obviously very special to me and playing in front of Bloemfontein fans – it’s an honour,” said Olivier.
The Proteas will have to do without Morne Morkel, after he sustained a side strain in Potchefstroom, that will see the lanky bowler out for six weeks.
Despite Morkel’s injury, Olivier backs the bowlers to put the Bangladesh batsmen under pressure.
“Morne is a massive loss and he has been bowling really well,” said Olivier.
“It gives an opportunity for the other guys to stand up and make a name for themselves.
“It is a bit of bad luck that everyone is injured, but we have Dale (Steyn), Vernon (Philander) and (Chris) Morris all nearing fitness and rearing to go.
“We have KG (Kagiso Rabada) leading the attack and I learn a lot from him. I don’t feel like there’s a lot of pressure on me or the rest of the guys.”
Play gets underway at 10:00 from Friday.
Following the Test series, the Proteas will also play three ODIs and two T20Is against Bangladesh.