Bangladesh v Zimbabwe, 1st T20I, Khulna January 14, 2016

Old foes look to fine-tune ahead of World T20

19

Match facts


January 15, 2016
Start time 1500 local (0900 GMT)

Play 01:23
Isam: Bangladesh willing to test fresh faces

Big picture


Experimentation is the buzzword around the second Bangladesh-Zimbabwe T20 series in the 2015-16 season. Both teams are looking ahead to the World T20 in March, and with the least exposure in this format among all Test-playing nations, it is hardly a surprise that they are trying to cram in as many T20s as possible before the major event.

Zimbabwe have a 16-man squad to choose from, which includes the return of Vusi Sibanda, Sean Williams and Brian Vitori, who in 2011 troubled Bangladesh at home, picking up a matchwinning first-innings four-for in the only Test and topping the wicket charts in the ODI series. The visitors will want to bounce back after their recent series losses, in both ODIs and T20s, to Afghanistan in the UAE. Coach Dav Whatmore said it was a closer contest than the result suggested but Zimbabwe would still be concerned by their current form.

Their bowling looks thinner than usual, especially in the absence of Tinashe Panyangara, relying on the legspinner Graeme Cremer for much of their threat and control. Luke Jongwe, Neville Madziva and Vitori are the pace bowlers who will have to back Cremer.

Bangladesh have Shakib Al Hasan and Soumya Sarkar back in their squad, with three newcomers also given a chance to show their worth in the first two T20s. Al-Amin Hossain, Mashrafe Mortaza and Mustafizur Rahman are the first-choice pace options while Shakib and Arafat Sunny will be the main spin threats.

What will be interesting to see is the way Bangladesh's batting order lines up, with Mahmudullah likely to bat at No 3, which means Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib can set up a final flourish for Sabbir Rahman or either of the two newcomers Shuvagata Hom and Nurul Hasan, both reputed to be fast starters.

Form guide


Bangladesh: LWLLW (last five matches, most recent first)
Zimbabwe: LLWLL

In the spotlight


Shakib Al Hasan missed out on the two T20s last November so there will some interest in seeing him return to the format after quite a while.

Hamilton Masakadza made a half-century in Zimbabwe's last game, and a lot will depend on him to give his side a good start. Bangladesh are also one of his favorite opponents. He has only played three T20Is against them, but has made more than 1000 runs against them in ODIs and averages 49.60 against them in Tests, with three hundreds.

Team news


Shakib Al Hasan and Soumya Sarkar are automatic choices according to the coach Chandika Hathurusingha but Bangladesh will look to give the younger players an opportunity as well. So two out of Shuvagata Hom, Nurul Hasan and Abu Hider could be playing.

Bangladesh (probable): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Soumya Sarkar, 3 Mahmudullah, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim, 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Sabbir Rahman, 7 Nurul Hasan (wk), 8 Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), 9 Arafat Sunny, 10 Mustafizur Rahman, 11 Al-Amin Hossain

There will be one enforced change in Zimbabwe's line-up, with Donald Tiripano not included in this squad. Sean Williams will be an automatic choice but Vusi Sibanda and Brian Vitori may have to wait their turn.

Zimbabwe (probable): 1 Chamu Chibhabha, 2 Hamilton Masakadza, 3 Richmond Mutumbami (wk), 4 Sean Williams, 5 Malcolm Waller, 6 Sikandar Raza, 7 Elton Chigumbura (capt), 8 Luke Jongwe, 9 Graeme Cremer, 10 Tendai Chisoro, 11 Neville Madziva

Pitch and conditions


The surface has the feel of a typical Khulna pitch and with shorter boundaries, the team batting first should be able to score 150-160. Dew will be a factor, possibly from around 4.30pm, so the team batting second will have some advantage.

Stats and trivia

  • Bangladesh and Zimbabwe played their first-ever T20 international at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna, in 2006.
  • Bangladesh are currently 3-2 ahead in the five T20s between the two sides.
  • This is the first time two Full Member sides are playing a T20 series that has more than three matches.

Quotes


"We will look into various combinations but whether we get a result out of it is a different issue. We feel that this is the time for trying such things."
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza

"We have to play our own game and polish where we went wrong in the past and hopefully have a good game."
Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • India_Rules_Everybody on January 15, 2016, 8:07 GMT

    This will be a much better outing for Zimbabwe. Afghanistan has left them far behind but Zimbabwe should use this series as a confidence booster before the WC. Current T20 rankings in Asia: India, SL, Pak, Afgh,Nepal, Hong Kong, PNG, UAE, BD.

  • Tawac005 on January 15, 2016, 5:17 GMT

    Waller shldnt be in the Zim side. He has done nothing at all.

  • Cricket_Addict_151507 on January 15, 2016, 0:46 GMT

    Mini Australia back in action. Time for world domination again, its the time for Banglawash again. Roar on tigers roar on. The WorldT20 should be the ultimate goal to start the famed legend of The Domination of the Tigers. Best in the world... get ready opponents to get Banglawashed.

  • Mahmudur R Rimon on January 15, 2016, 0:14 GMT

    Excited to see how Abu Haider perform in international platform.

  • rk_ks on January 14, 2016, 20:08 GMT

    Is it a Ferrari to be fine tuned. Just an average car. And luck will not favor the minnows everytime.

  • Mtranjha on January 14, 2016, 18:52 GMT

    INSHA ALLAH Zimbabwe win tomorrow cremer and masakadza well play

  • ZakharovHasan on January 14, 2016, 17:13 GMT

    Finally the day has come, now BD has an awesome bowling line up for T20, Mustafiz, Haider, Shakib, Al Amin and Mortoza. I wonder what is Hom doing in the squad, where is Nasir Hossain?

  • Fogu on January 14, 2016, 16:08 GMT

    If our openers give us a good start and last 7-8 overs, we should pull Mahmudullah back and bring in Sabbir. Hom or Mash to up the tempo. If any of the openers fail, then Mahmudullah is ideal #3 for us. Go Tigers!

  • hasib9 on January 14, 2016, 15:27 GMT

    This is a good team against Zim. However, when playing against Asian teams, opt for 4 quicks. Abu Haider in and Arafat Sunny out. Also swap Nurul for Nasir to add spin option (as a backup plan) in case spin is needed.

  • Cricinfouser on January 14, 2016, 14:50 GMT

    Ervin and panyangara have injuries.Chigumbura nolonger the captain, Sean Williams is now the Captain

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