Ottis Gibson touches down in South Africa on Monday morning, ten days before his first assignment begins, with plenty to do.

Test shortcomings first on Gibson's agenda

South Africa host Bangladesh for two Tests, three ODIs and two T20Is, seemingly a gentle warm-up to their busiest summer to date. But they won't be fooled. The last time South Africa faced Bangladesh, they were beaten in the ODIs, while the Tests were rained out, starting off a downward spiral that saw them slip to No. 7 on the rankings. They have since climbed back to No. 2, but as Gibson's predecessor, Russell Domingo said on his departure, they are "far from the complete article" as a Test side. Though Gibson's main focus is the 2019 World Cup, he will also have to try finding the missing pieces of the Test puzzle, and that task starts immediately.

The opening round of first-class fixtures begins on Tuesday, and at Gibson's request, all available national players will be in action. Gibson is expected to attend at least one of the matches, though he could get to two or even all three.

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West Indies batsman Chris Gayle has hinted that he could make a return to Test cricket after playing his last game in the longest format more than three years. The 37-year-old Gayle last made an appearance in the five-day format against Bangladesh in Jamaica in September 2014 but has gone on to become a global superstar in T20 leagues around the world. Gayle helped the Windies beat hosts England in one-off T20I in Durham on Saturday and is also in the squad for the upcoming five-match ODI series, starting at Old Trafford on Tuesday. When asked if he would make a return to Test cricket, Gayle told Sky Sports: “Maybe next year I’ll try to take that challenge up. I’ll see what happens. “I still have my fun but I am looking after my body and getting some sleep as well.” Gayle, who boasts a Test batting average of more than 42 after 103 matches, feels the Caribbean side did well in the recent Tests against England even though the home side won the three-match series two-one. After being heavily beaten in the first Test at Edgbaston, the Windies, without most of their experienced players due to disagreements with their board, bounced back at Headingley before going down in the final contest at Lord’s. Gayle continued: “Everyone wrote us off after the first Test and said it was going to be a whitewash. “But the guys came back strong in the second Test. The third Test was competitive as well – the guys really put up a fight. “The young players will need time but playing well in England will hopefully boost their confidence and encourage them to do well for West Indies. Test cricket can boost your character.”
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