Last chance for Pakistan to salvage pride
May 6-10, 2015
Start time 1000 local (0400 GMT)
Before this tour could go ahead, the BCB had to agree to compensate the PCB monetarily for two cancelled visits in 2012. The amount offered and accepted was $325,000. But the money doesn't seem so important now. Honour is, and Pakistan's is at stake.
Pakistan arrived in Dhaka in April with an unbeaten bilateral series record against Bangladesh. Over the next 20 days they were blanked 0-3 in the ODIs, lost the T20 international, and were on the receiving end of a record-breaking batting performance from Bangladesh in the drawn first Test. They have one more opportunity to salvage something from this tour.
Pakistan are the No. 3 ranked Test side. Bangladesh are ninth. Pakistan have never lost a Test to Bangladesh but to preserve that record they will have to battle a hungry side in unprecedented form. Bangladesh have shown improvement in every aspect of the game, and Misbah-ul-Haq said his team had underestimated their opponent but would regroup with a different approach for the second Test. Their prestige hinges on it.
Bangladesh DWWWL (last five matches, most recent first)
In the spotlight
Imrul Kayes kept wicket for 120 overs before batting Bangladesh out of trouble with a career best 150. It is the hardest he has had to work in a cricket match, so it remains to be seen how he has recovered physically going into the second Test.
Pakistan's bowlers struggled to take wickets in the second innings in Khulna. Wahab Riaz, the leader of the attack and the only bowler to trouble Tamim Iqbal and Imrul, needs to step up for Pakistan and be the difference between the sides in Mirpur.
Shahadat Hossain could take the injured Rubel Hossain's spot in Bangladesh's XI. The big decision is whether to pick the defensive option of a batting allrounder - Shuvagata Hom - or the more attacking one of a legspinner - Jubair Hossain. Mohammad Shahid could play his second Test after impressing the senior players.
Bangladesh (probable): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Imrul Kayes, 3 Mominul Haque, 4 Mahmudullah, 5 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk), 6 Shakib Al Hasan, 7 Soumya Sarkar 8 Shuvagata Hom/Jubair Hossain, 9 Taijul Islam, 10 Shahadat Hossain, 11 Mohammad Shahid
Pakistan called in Bilawal Bhatti as cover for Rahat Ali but they are unlikely to change their line-up. They rested all their front-line seamers on Monday, giving them ample rest before the Test.
Pakistan (probable): 1 Sami Aslam, 2 Mohammad Hafeez, 3 Azhar Ali, 4 Younis Khan, 5 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 6 Asad Shafiq, 7 Sarfraz Ahmed, 8 Wahab Riaz, 9 Junaid Khan, 10 Yasir Shah, 11 Zulfiqar Babar
Pitch and conditions
The Mirpur pitch is likely to play like the one in Khulna did. It will provide another run feast but there are chances of cracks developing later in the game. The forecast is for high temperatures and the chance of rain is remote.
Stats and trivia
- Mohamamd Hafeez is 136 short of 3000 Test runs. He also needs three wickets to make it to 50 wickets.
- In Khulna, Tamim and Imrul not only broke a 55-year old record for the highest opening partnership in the second innings of a Test match, they also broke the record for the largest deficit (296 runs) wiped out without losing a wicket.
"We will try to keep them winless in the tour."
Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim
"There is still no favourite in the series as both are equal. Whoever wants to win this has to be at their best on every particular day."
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson