Having sealed the series and regained the ODI top ranking, the Proteas are free to explore their depth in the third ODI in East London.
The captain and selectors have emphasised the need to test the depth of the ODI squad as they build towards the 2019 World Cup, and they want to give the younger players a chance to show what they can do in real-time situations.
Aiden Markram, who made an immediate impact in the Test arena, and made 82 for a Cricket South Africa XI in a 50-over warm-up game against Bangladesh, will start as Quinton de Kock’s opening partner, replacing a resting Hashim Amla in East London on Sunday. Wiaan Mulder has been brought in to replace the injured Wayne Parnell.
If the selectors remain true to their word, they may be tempted to play him, possibly as a replacement for David Miller, who was ruled out of the second ODI with a groin strain.
An alternative would be to rest Andile Phehlukwayo, the other all-rounder. He return 0-60 off 10 in the first ODI and a vastly improved 4-40 in the second, so the selectors would probably keep him going.
While on the subject of Phehlukwayo, Proteas captain Faf du Plessis suggested that he would have moved him up the order once De Kock and Amla had established a solid base in the first ODI. As it happened, the openers went all the way with a stand of 282, and the plan was never put into operation. The idea was to give Phehlukwayo time in the middle to see what sort of innings he could build with more overs at his disposal.
The problem is that the Bangladeshis have been so lacking in firepower that the Proteas batting strength has yet to be tested. It will need a huge effort on their part to bowl out South Africa.
For Bangladesh, the situation doesn’t get any easier: star batsman Tamim Iqbal has gone home with a thigh injury.
South Africa (possible): 1 Quinton de Kock (wk), 2 Aiden Markram, 3 Faf du Plessis (capt) 4 AB de Villiers, 5 JP Duminy, 6 Wiaan Mulder, 7 Andile Phehlukwayo, 8 Dane Paterson, 9 Dwaine Pretorius, 10 Kagiso Rabada, 11 Imran Tahir.
The match begins at 10am.
Photo: Frikkie Kapp/Gallo Images