PAKISTAN TOUR OF BANGLADESH, 2021
The visitors start as favourites after clinching the T20I series 3-0. © AFP
Bangladesh’s streak of losses have refused to end. After losing all five of their Super 12 fixtures in the T20 World Cup and then blanked in the recent T20I series as Pakistan’s juggernaut went a notch higher.
The exclusion of Mushfiqur Rahim from the T20Is did create minor furore and a few tongues wagged, and the squad picked hardly did anything noteworthy to back the sudden exclusion of one of Bangladesh cricketing stalwarts. A 0-3 defeat at the hands of one of the more balanced T20 sides in the world though shouldn’t really send alarm bells ringing in the Bangladesh camp but they need to arrest their losses.
Pakistan on the other hand were a little gutted after being ousted in semi-finals of the T20 World Cup after being seen as massive favorites to lift the trophy. But Babar Azam and his side are on a roll. And despite Tests being another beast, Pakistan would want to stamp their authority as they kick start their Test Championship cycle.
Bangladesh squad has woes off the field to deal with as Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan are nursing injuries and Mahmudullah has retired. The batting in this will be light on experience and the skipper as well as Mushfiqur Rahim will have to shoulder the responsibilities of the batting department. Pace bowlers Khaled Ahmed and Shohidul Islam have also been included in the squad for the first Test as covers since both Taskin Ahmed and Shoriful Islam have been ruled out with injuries.
Pakistan have every name they wanted at their disposal and would want to set the record straight in red ball cricket as well.
When: Bangladesh vs Pakistan, 1st Test, November 26-30, 09:30 AM Local Time
Where: Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chattogram
What to expect: The last time Bangladesh played a Test, they couldn’t defend 395 in the fourth innings. Thus, the wicket should be expected to last and run scoring should not be a tedious task.
Bangladesh: The home side are a depleted lot. Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan are out thanks to injury and the other players would be called in to fill some massive boots. Bangladesh might see a couple of debutants getting their caps tomorrow.
Probable XI:1 Shadman Islam 2 Mahmudul Hasan Joy, 3 Najmul Hossain Shanto, 4 Mominul Haque (C), 5 Mushfiqur Rahim, 6 Yasir Ali, 7 Liton Das (wk), 8 Taijul Islam, 9 Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 10 Abu Jayed, 11 Ebadot Hossain
Pakistan:Pakistan’s spin bowling stocks are light on experience and that might be seen as the only weak link. Their skipper would be raring to go and marshal his troops in this format as well.
Probable XI: Abid Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam (C), Fawad Alam, Mohammad rizwan (wk), Mohammad Nawaz, Nauman Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Hasan Ali, Naseem Shah
What they said:
Babar Azam: Moving forward we would like to keep the momentum (that we earned in the T20 series) in Test matches and we have experienced players in the Test team. I think it makes us happy to perform consistently. I think there is team effort but firstly you have to identify where you are struggling and in our case we struggled in fielding and in the middle order and I feel slowly we are improving in this regard.