"I've got no say over scheduling and venues," he said. "Hopefully in the future that can change."

But he was encouraged by a good covering of grass on the pitch and hoped that much of it remained after the surface is mown before the match.

"I'm not too familiar with what they have done but it seems like the grass has grown a little bit here at Kingsmead," said Elgar. "Hopefully they can get it nice and hard to create more pace and bounce."

The Proteas skipper further said, "We have to make do with our next best that we have in the country, who I'm still very confident in. It's a great opportunity for those guys to stand up and put those other players under pressure. I'm confident they can do that."

Elgar says the team is determined to quickly erase the memory of a shock first-ever ODI series loss to Bangladesh earlier this month.

"What happened in the ODI series has hurt quite a lot of players. I wasn't involved but I'm pretty hurt about the result. I'd like to think that has fuelled us," he said.

"Our hunger is going to be right up there. We know this Bangladesh side is not one of old. They're a new team with a westernised coaching staff who have changed their mindset with regards to how to play cricket in South Africa," Elgar told reporters.

Bangladesh have lost all six previous tests in South Africa, five of those by an innings and the other by 333 runs. But this current side has more resolve and are coming off an excellent 1-1 series draw in New Zealand in January.

If Elgar's hopes are fulfilled it could be more like the Kingsmead of old, where Allan Donald, now Bangladesh's fast bowling coach, had match figures of nine for 54 when India were blown away for 100 and 66 in 1996/97.

Understrength South Africa

Even if the pitch does aid pace, Elgar will have to do without front-line fast bowlers Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Marco Jansen, as well as the injured Anrich Nortje.

Duanne Olivier, who appears to have lost pace since returning from a Kolpak contract in England, Lutho Sipamla and Glenton Stuurman are the only fast bowlers with Test experience in the current squad. They have 13, three and one Test caps respectively.

Elgar said South Africa were considering several bowling combinations, including the possibility of fielding two spinners. This would mean off-spinner Simon Harmer returning to Test cricket after a six-year gap to join left-armer Keshav Maharaj.

Bangladesh have lost all six Tests over three previous tours of South Africa, including five by an innings, but broke an all-format losing streak in the country with a convincing win in a one-day series at the start of the tour.


Tamim Iqbal, who led the one-day side, hands over the captaincy to Mominul Haque but will be a key player for the tourists as an opening batter.

There will have to be at least four changes from the ODI team with Mahmudullah, Afif Hossain and Mustafizur Rahman not part of the Test squad, while all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan is not expected to be back in time for the first Test after returning home to visit ill family members.

"I think the Test series will be more challenging," key Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan said. "We all know that in ODIs we play cricket on true wickets.

"In Tests, teams take advantage of their (home) conditions, but as some of their main players are missing, we can be hopeful."

Bangladesh gained a shock win in the first Test against world Test champions New Zealand in January to show they can win away from home against good opposition.

Fast bowler Ebadot Hossain was the man of the match and he will be backed up in Durban by Taskin Ahmed and Shoriful Islam, who both impressed in the one-day games against South Africa.

Bangladesh were unable to follow up their success in New Zealand, however. The Black Caps hit back with an innings win in the second Test and even though it is a below-strength South African team, Bangladesh will probably have to be at their best to beat them.


South Africa: Dean Elgar (captain), Temba Bavuma, Daryn Dupavillon, Sarel Erwee, Simon Harmer, Keshav Maharaj, Wiaan Mulder, Duanne Olivier, Keegan Petersen, Ryan Rickelton, Lutho Sipamla, Glenton Stuurman, Kyle Verreynne (wkt), Lizaad Williams and Khaya Zondo.

Bangladesh: Mominul Haque (captain), Abu Jayed, Ebadot Hossain, Khaled Ahmed, Litton Das (wkt), Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Mehidy Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Nurul Hasan, Shadman Ismail, Shohidul Islam, Shoriful Islam, Taijul Islam, Tamim Iqbal, Taskin Ahmed and Yasir Ali.

Umpires: Marais Erasmus, Adrian Holdstock (both RSA)

TV umpire: Allahudien Paleker (RSA)

Match referee: Andy Pycroft (ZIM)


First Test: 31 March - 4 April, Durban

Second Test: 8 April – 12 April, Gqeberha

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