Tsolekile is confident of victory

BANGLADESH may not rate as one of the major powers in world cricket but it is a country that presents a number of challenges to touring sides.

BANGLADESH may not rate as one of the major powers in world cricket but it is a country that presents a number of challenges to touring sides.

Leaving yesterday for a tour that comprises two "test" matches against Bangladesh A and then a triangular series with West Indies A, South Africa A captain Thami Tsolekile believes his side should do well.

"We have a nice blend of experience and youth and we are confident," he told Sowetan just before boarding a flight to Dubai.

"Personally I've been to the sub-continent a number of times, though this will be my first trip to Bangladesh."

With low, flat wickets the standard playing conditions in that part of the world, Tsolekile believes they have all their bases covered.

A recent tour by England to Bangladesh also gave an indication on what to expect.

"If we have to go with a number of spinners we have Paul Harris and Alviro Petersen who are both familiar with the conditions," said the captain.

The tour is not just a learning curve for a number of the young players, but also will act as a feeder system for the Proteas in future.

While Jacques Kallis is playing arguably the best cricket of his long career at the moment, a succession plan will be in place and the national selectors will no doubt be keeping an eye on how the team does.

"Jonathan Vandiar is an exciting prospect and Alviro Petersen has the experience of playing for the national side," said Tsolekile.

The captain himself still has ambitions of playing at the highest level.

With three Test caps to his name, he has had a great few months after first being named captain of the Highveld Lions and then for this tour.

"I'm 29 years old now but still feel like a 22-year-old. I would still love to play for the Proteas again but at the moment I'm concentrating solely on this tour and making sure we do well."

The team will have their first net session tomorrow before playing Bangladesh A in Dhakar on Friday.

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